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English Language and Literature in the Middle AgesEnglish Society of the Middle Ages saw many developments and new trends butnone so plainly as the developments witnessed in the Language and Literature of that timeIt began with the Norman Conquest eloquent french words substituted for the harshsaxon equivalents primarily in the upper levels of society Literature began to reflect thesechanges in the language and continued to evolve throughout the Renissance Togetherthese aspects helped define the Middle AgesThe Norman Conquest took place in 1066 with the death of King Edward Williamof Normandy later to be reffered to as The Conquerer fought King Harold in order toclaim the crown in Britian Succeeding William integrated Norman life into the OldEnglish culture concentrating in the higher courts and plitical scene This integration ofthe Norman culture then filtered down to the underclassThe developmental trends of the English Language can be clearly seen in theliterature of the time Geoffrery Chaucer whos works were a precursor to theRenissance wrote The Canterbury Tales a collection of stories set within a framingstory of a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket Thepoet joins a band of pilgrims vividly described in the Prologue who assemble at theTabard Inn outside London for the journey to Canterbury Ranging in status from aKnight to a humble Plowman they are a detailed view of 14th-century English society Another glimpse into the life of Middle England was created by William Langlandwho was supposedly the author of the religious allegory known as Piers Plowmanconsidered one of the greatest English poems of medieval times This work satirescorruption among the clergy and the secular authorities and upholds the dignity and valueof labor represented by Piers Plowman Sir Thomas Malory a translator and compilerwas the author of the first great English prose epic Le morte dArthur It is believed thathe was an English knight of Warwickshire and spent many years in prison for politicaloffenses and civic crimes Le morte dArthur was supposedly
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