The Heroic Age
- Derived from ancient tradition of oral accounts of real or mythical adventure.
- Performed, often to musical accompaniment.
- Entertainment / journalism / education. Recounting current events and historical ones.
- Social activity.
- Poets were revered. New poems were written by a 'Scop', old ones re-told/embellished by 'Gleemen'.
- Anglo-Saxons called poems 'word-hoard'. A hoard of verbal riches.
- Poems were corporate efforts.
- Ezra Pound's translation of 'The Seafarer'.
The Age of Chivalry
- The literary form of the English language disappeared after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and all compositions were written in Latin or French and didn't re-emerge for a few hundred years - Chaucer et al, vernacular Middle English
- European Renaissance influenced form and content - more sophisticated. (Sonnet's etc).
- Celtic culture/ myth and appreciation of natural beauty assimilated into English poetry.
- Scop and Gleemen were replaced by the Minstrel.
- Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
- English Renaissance came about during the Elizibethan period of culturally enlightened and educated theatre building.
- Heavily influenced by classical myth and legend but the poet's own voice was developing.
- Poetry composition became the benchmark of cultural sophistication.
- Anonymous scop, gleemen and minstrel gave way to a highly skilled individual, using written language.
- Only accessible by the educated literate.(Usually men).Educated ladies of court were permitted to pen appropriate poems on the death of a husband.
- Despite the elitism of complex written poetry, oral traditions also continued to flourish.Ballads, songs, plays.
- Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen.