skip to main | skip to sidebar
Home » » The English People : Their Language and Literature Developed In Old English Period
The English language and also literature belong to the Englishmen. But the Englishmen were not the original inhabitants of what is known today as England. They were actually the savage residents of some scatter localities of modern Germany, designated as Germania by the famous Roman historian Tacitus. In fact, the land, now known as Britain was the habitat of the Celtic people who might have settled there in the remote past during the gradual spread of Aryan civilization in the West. Those Celtic people, also known as Bretons or Brythoners , lived there as their native land, better known as British england. They had to face aggressions, time and again, to defend their land and liberty. The result of one such aggression was the occupation of Britain by Rome in 43 A.D. The Roman rule of the country was long and continuous. The Celtic native were absolutely under the rigours of the Roman power. But that had ,too, a cultural bearing on them and brought them to the light of civilization. The Roman Empire fell under the pressure of civil dissention in Rome. The Roman army withdrew from Britain. The Celtic people found themselves quite helpless and unprotected thereafter. The invasion from the savage Teutonic tribes started from the latter part of the fifth century. Those Teutonic tribes were mainly three-Angles, Saxons and Jutes .Without any military strength and the sense of national solidarity, It was impossible for the Celtic natives to resist the savage aggressors. So they fled away to the mountaneous regions of Wales, Angles, Saxons and Jutes-the three Teutonic trubes-settled in Britain with a certain Sort of regional divisions, made mutually by them. That was the beginning of the terms '!ENGLAND' AND 'ENGLISH'. The present day rich stores if the English language and literature belonged originally of those tiny tribes of the remote past.

The English Language And Literature

The language is found to precede literature everywhere . It makes the latter . Yet , literature ,a formidable one in particular, cultivates , develops, Andren even sponsors a language and makes it a great one . In fact ,the language and literature are complementary to each other . A great literature comes out of a great language and vice versa . This story of the language and literature is applicable, in no less measure, to the English language as well as literature. However, both of them had a dim beginning . but an eminent rise . The language , orginerally spoken by the Germanic settlers in Britain, was Teutonic in character . It belonged to the Teutonic group of languages and descended from the Germanic tongue, rater from low German. That language came to be known. after the settlementzaes English ( anglix ),subsequently termed as English. But all that was the matter of the remote past . Those settlers from Germania, before their settlement in Britain, no doubt, had some sort of literature. that was unwritten and carried preserved by tradition . Earliest English literature, as any other literature, had its origin in poetry .That was unwritten and consisted mainly of songs and poems, rather heroic and stirring n character . prose literature in English came much later only after the invention of the science of writing . But both the language and literature in English developed gradually but firmly, of course in no plain and smooth manner . They had a very humble beginning in a far off,remote, hardly illumined by the light of civilization, land . But their stupendous march has taken them, to the height of excellence today . The English language is immensely opulent and a rightly claimant for the status of the international language . English literature , too  ,is rich and resourceful in immensity, variety and artistry. This, perhaps, enjoys maximum popularity and celebrity in the literary world, old or new. In fact, the present mighty edifice of English literature as of this language is no product of a magic lamp or wand .It is the total effect of diverse forces in operation in diverse phases. A steady and harmonious growth of different complex affairs , political , social and ecclesiastic all , has actually led to the tremendous greatness and popularity of the English language and literature . Of different materials, going to the making of it, this mighty of edifice of English language as well as literature, the following need to be particularly noted.

1. The Roman Conquest of Britain. 

2. The Conquest and Settlement of the Germanic tribes in Britain.

3. The Conversation of the English to Christianity.

4. The Scandinavian Invasion and Settlement in England .

5. The Norman Conquest .

6. The Revival of Learning.

7. The Civil War and the Restoration of Monarchy.

8. The Bloodless Revolution and the Growing Power of Parliament .

9. The Franch Revolution .

10. The Industrial Revolution.

11. The Expansion of the British Empire.

12. The Extensive Growth of Science ,Technology and Commerce.

13.The World Wars.

Formative Influences on English Literature

It is finely commented that "that splendid fabric of English literature is a cost of many colours"The varying tints of different racial characteristics are found well matched here. In the making of this literature there is found the solid contribution from the spontaneous fancy of the Celt, the grave view of the Teuton, the sea-faring spirit of the Dane ,the lively imagination of the Norman , the golden knowledge of Rome and Greece and varied contacts with diverse lands and men of letters at different times. The greatness of English literature , indeed , is the result of a long drawn process , in which were participated equally by the Celts and the Teutons , the Danes and the Normans , the Italians and the Greeks , as also different literary influences from the places , far and near , cobtinental and colonial. Again , in the formative influences on English literature are found the stamps of racial characteristics of different people , friends or foes , in different times . Little is known of the first indwellers of England .The early history of English is replete with the tales of aggression and conquests . There was the Roman invasion ,  which ended in the subjugation of the natives of Britain (not those known as the English today) . After the departure of the Romans , there came the invasion of the Angles and the saxons . The saxon had , for the time being , to make a room for the Dances . And lastly there was the historic Norman Conquest of 1066.Besides all such armed invasions, there was the finer penetration in the realm of thoughts and ideas , social and religious , in different periods. The conquest of Constantinople by the Turks brought about an intellectual upsurge in Europe and proved a subsidising resource to the growth of English literature in the fifteenth century.  Greek and Latin Literature , 'rich  with the spoils of time ', unrolled  itself not merely to the whole of the continent but also to England.  The elevating and energising inspiration of the Renaissance dawned upon England.  in particular , along with other countries .There was the radical change in the character of medieval literature,  introduced Elizabethan literature and proved instrumental to the beginning of modern English literature. Subsequent centuries widened further contacts and extensions for English literature . The Civil War and the Restoration of Monarchy in 1660 gave a fresh literary impetus from France as from the other parts of the continent - Germany,  Spain  and Portugal. The texture of English literature , as the foregoing observation implies,  is women out of various threads -light and heavy , simple and coloured . Yet , it never looks like ' a thing of patch -work quality '.Many and varied are the elements that have gone to the making of English literature.  It is,  However,  the harmonious blending of all these elements that led the literature of Shakespeare and milton,  of Wordsworth and Dickens and of Shaw and Eliot to grow from more to more to the present magnificent stature .


Post a Comment

Back To Top