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Writers from the Old English, Middle English, and the Renaissance period

Aguilar Estrada Yaritza Gisell Estudio del Desarrollo del Segundo Idioma Unidad 1

From Old English

The details of the life of Anglo-Saxon poet Cynewulf (flourished 8th or 9th century) are shrouded in mystery.

What is known is that he was one of the earliest religious poets and wrote beautiful verses steeped in Christian belief.

O Ruler and righteous King, Thou who holdests the key and openest life, bless us with victory, with that glorious success denied unto him whose work availeth naught! Verily in our need do we speak these words: We beseech Him who created man that He choose not to pronounce judgment upon us who, sad at heart, sit yearning in prison for the sun's joyous course until such time as the Prince of life reveal light unto us, become our soul's defense, and compass the feeble mind with splendor; of all this may

From Middle English

The English author Sir Thomas Malory (active 15th century) wrote Le Morte Darthur, one of the most popular prose romances of the medieval period. The work was the first full-length book in English about the adventures of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

ANd whan syr Ector herde suche noyse & lyghte in the quyre of Ioyous garde he alyght & put his hors from hym & came in to the quyre & there he sawe men synge wepe / & al they knewe syr Ector

AND when Sir Ector heard such noise and light in the quire of Joyous Gard, he alighted and put his horse from him, and came into the quire, and there he saw men sing and weep. And all they knew Sir Ector

From the Renaissance

In just 23 years, he is attributed with writing 38 plays, Famous Shakespearean sonnets and 5 other poems. He is the most widely read of all Authors and the popularity of the Life and Works of Shakespeare, in English speaking countries, is second only to the Bible.

HAMLET :'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.

First Clown: Sings. But age, with his stealing steps, Hath claw'd me in his clutch, And hath shipped me intil the land, 69 As if I had never been such. Throws up a skull.

HAMLET: That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first murder!

Donne's poetry embraces a wide range of secular and religious subjects. He wrote cynical verse about inconstancy, poems about true love

'Tis love breeds love in me, and cold disdain Kills that again, As water causeth fire to fret and fume, Till all consume. Who can of love more rich gift make, That to Love's self for love's own sake?

The overall impression one gets from reading Browne is of an urbane, sophisticated and witty writer, who delights in collecting trivia and arcane information. His style is elegant and, for modern tastes, probably rather too learned, but his love of what he does is obvious.

If the nearnesse of our last necessity, brought a nearer conformity unto it, there were a happinesse in hoary hairs, and no calamity in half senses. But the long habit of living indisposeth us for dying; When Avarice makes us the sport of death; When even David grew politickly cruell; and Solomon could hardly be said to be the wisest of men. But many are too early old, and before the date of age.

Christian Classic Ethereal Library; Available: Liminarium (2007); Available: Humanities Web; Available: Shakespeare Online (2010); Available: Corpus of Middle English, Prose and Verse; Available:;view=fulltext Sacred Text; Available: Thomas Browne (2007); Available: