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English Literature: Timeline Events

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Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Period
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Express religious faith and give moral instruction through literature; Early English epic poems such as Beowulf, The Wanderer and The Seafarer
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Elizabethan Age
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Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, “Much Ado about Nothing” and “Richard III” Marlowe’s “Tamburlaine the Great”, “Dr. Faustus”, “The Jew of Malta”, and “edward II” Spencer’s “The Faerie Queene”
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Jacobean Age
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Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, “Othello”, “King Lear”, “Hamlet”, MacBeth”, his sonnets Donne’s songs, sonnets, and elegies Bacon’s “Reports” Johnson “Volpone” (or The Fox)
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Caroline Age
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Milton’s “Paradise Lost” Herbert’s “The Temple” Herrick’s “Hesperides” Carew’s “An Elegy upon the Death of the Dean of Pauls “Dr. John Donne”
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Commonwealth Period
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Hobbes “Leviathan” Milton’s “The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates Hutchinson’s “Memoirs of the Life of Colonel John Hutchinson”
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The Restoration and the 18th Century
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Dryden;s “The Conquest of Granada” and “Alexander’s Feast” Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” Locke’s “Two Treaties of Government”
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The Romantic Period
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Keats’s “Lamia”, “Isabella”, “The Eve of St. Agnes”, and other Poems Burns’s “Pride and Prejudice” and “Northanger Abbey” Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads
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The Victorian Age
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Tennyson’s Poems Dickens’s “Great Expectations” and “Pickwick Papers” Robert Browning’s “Men and Women” Caroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
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nineteen hundred to Present
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Hardy’s “on the Western Circuit” and “The Convergence of Twain” Shaw’s “Pymalion” Eliot’s ‘The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock” Orwell’s “1984”
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Beowulf
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450-1066 (Anglo Saxon)
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Canterbury tales, le morte d’arthur
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1066-1500 Middle english
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1500-1600 The Renaissance
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Shakespeare and paradise lost
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1660-1785 The restoration
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Locke’s Two Treaties of Government
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1625-1660 Puritan Period
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Walton’s, The Compleat Angler, Milton, Lycida
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1630- 1760 Colonial Period
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Franklin’s, Poor Richard’s Almanack, Edward’s, Freedom and Will
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realism
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style of writing that strives to depict life accurately without idealizing or romanticizing
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Harlem Renaissance 1920s
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cultural movement led by African-American writers, musicians, and artists. Hughes, Countee Cullen
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1945-present Contemporary Period
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Arthur Millers, crucible and death of a salesman, morrison’s beloved, salinger’s the catcher in the rye, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
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Greek
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800 to 400 BC
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Roman
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250 BC to AD 150
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Middle English/Medieval
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1066-1500
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Renaissance/17th Century
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1500-1600
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Jacobean Age
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1603-1625
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Caroline Age
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1625-1649
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Commonwealth Period
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1649-1669
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The Restoration
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1600-1700
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The Augustan Age/Age of the Pope
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1700-1745
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Puritan/Colonial Literature
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1650-1750
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Age of Reason
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1750-1800
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Romantic Period
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1785-1830
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Gothic Period
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1785-1820
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Victorian Period
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1832-1901
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The Pre-Raphelites
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1848-1860
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Transcendentalism
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1840-1860
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Age of Realism
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1865-1900
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The Edwardian Period/Naturalism
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1901-1914
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Post Modernism
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1950-
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Old English/Anglo-Saxon
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450-1066 *Beowolf*
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Elizabethan Age
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558-1603
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Neoclassical Period/18th Century
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1600-1785
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Post Modernism
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1950-
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British Romantics
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Originated in late 18th century when poets wrote about nature and beauty They contrasted the beauty of nature to the harsh reality of the world and cities after the Industrial Revolution Who? Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelly, John Keats
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Transcendentalism
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Emerged in New England – middle 1800s – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margret Fuller, a philosophical and literary movement othat emphasized living a simple life and celebrated the truth found in nature and in personal and imagination
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Middle English Period
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AD 1300-1500 William Langland (1380), Geoffrey Chaucer (1380), Thomas Malory (1450), (1066-1550) Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, More’s Utopia, Malory’s Le Morte de Arthur and the morality play Everyman; The period in English literature between the replacement of French by English as the language of the court and the appearance of modern writings. This is the period of the Black Death, the age of Chaucer, political and religious unrest, the Peasants Revolt, and the rise of the Lollards.
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British Renaissance
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Years: 1485-1660 Themes: world view shifts from religion and after life to one stressing the human life on earth popular theme: development of human potential popular theme: many aspects of love explored unrequited love, constant love, timeless love, courtly love, love subject to change Key Literature/Authors: William Shakespeare, Donne, Cavalier Poets, Metaphysical Poets, Christopher Marlowe, Andrew Marvell
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British Neoclassical period
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Years: 1660-1798 Themes:emphasis on reason and logic stresses harmony, stability, wisdom Locke: a social contract exists between the government and the people. The government governs guaranteeing “natural rights” of life, liberty, and property Key Literature/Authors: *Alexander Pope, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson, John Bunyan,
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British Romantic period
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1780-1840. Examples: Keats’ Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems; Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne” and “Tam o’ Shanter”; Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound; Byron’s Don Juan; and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey.
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American Colonial period
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Contemporary Age of Johnson. Colonial and revolutionary writers: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine 1630-1760. Examples: Williams and Hooker’s Bay Psalm Book, Franklin’s, Poor Richard’s Almanack, Bradstreet’s The Tenth use Lately Sprung Up in America, and Edward’s The Freedom of the Will.
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American Renaissance
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A burst of American literature during the 1840s, highlighted by the novels of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne; the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller; and the poetry of Walt Whitman. Emphasized emotion and inner feeling and created a more democratic literature, accessible to everyone. Women also contributed literary works.
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British Victorian Period
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1840-1900. Examples: Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” Tennyson’s “Poems,” Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” and “Jude the Obscure,” and Browning’s “Sonnets from the “Portuguese.”
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American naturalistic period
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1880s to 1940s; literary movement that seeks to replicate a believable everyday reality; defining characteristics of literary naturalism is pessimism;apply scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings. Emile Zola, Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence; Frank Norris; Stephen Crane ,The Red Badge of Courage; Jack London, Call of the Wild
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modernism Period
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A cultural movement embracing human empowerment and rejecting traditionalism as outdated; they presented a profoundly pessimistic picture of a culture in disarray; literature of the post-World War One period. Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, H.D., Franz Kafka and Knut Hamsun
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Postmodernism Period
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postmodernist thought often emphasize idealism, constructivism, relativism, pluralism and scepticism in its approaches to knowledge and understanding; Anais Nin’s Under a Glass Bell (1944), William Gass’s In the Heart of the Heart of the Country (1968), and Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987).
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43 AD
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Roman Invasion
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600 AD
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Christianity established, St. Augustine in Canterbury
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1215
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Magma Carta- 1st document imposed upon king John by a group of his subjects, attempt to limit his power and protect their rights
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1485
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Morte d’ Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
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Medieval Period
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“The Dark Ages”; characterized by war, honor/chivalry, romance, religion; plays (morality); folk ballads. Ex. Chaucer (Canterbury Tales)
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The Renaissance (1485-1625)
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Elizabethan Age Jacobean Age Caroline Age Commonwealth Period Shift from religion/afterlife to human life on earth; love and human potential; metaphysical poetry, sonnets, and drama (written tradition); printing press invented (extended education); Ex. Shakespeare, Luther
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The Restoration
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Emphasis on rules, reason, and logic; grammarians; satire, essays, and novels. Ex. Pope, Swift
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Romanticism
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“The Age of Reason”; nature; patterns/meaning in the natural world around them; lyrical ballad; gothic horror novels; suspenseful/weird literature; poetry, plays, novels, folklore, tragedy. Ex. Austen, Wordsworth
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Modern/Post Modern Period
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Loss of hero; technology’s destruction in society; poetry began to be written in free verse; novelists began to write in stream of consciousness; works contain “epiphanies”; pessimistic/death orientated writing; poetry, novels, essays, and plays; Ex. Orwell, Yeats, Woolf
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Why we don’t need to know dates
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Scholars disagree on the exact dates these periods were during!
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Anglo-Saxon Period (449-1066)
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Storytelling was mainly oral tradition. Praise of heroes who triumph in battle and religious/moral instruction. Major genre: epic poetry-Beowulf
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Medieval Period (1066-1485)
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Chivalry and romances became popular. Religion was still popular and plays were produced for illiterate people called morality plays. Major genre: folk ballad.
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17th & 18th centuries – War, Restoration, Enlightenment (1625-1798)
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Emphasis on rules, reason, and logic. This is the time of grammarians. Major genres: satire, essays, and novels.
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Romanic Era (1798-1832)
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Major theme is nature. Romantics saw patterns in the surrounding world around them. Gothic horror novels were brought to popularity. Major genre: lyrical ballad.
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The Victorian Period (1832-1895)
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The novel rises to popularity. Cheap paper has mad mass publication possible. Serialized novels and magazines became popular. Plot twists such as strained coincidences and love triangles were often used to heightened conflict between rich and poor. Ex. Dickens, Bronte Sisters
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The Edwardian Period (1901-1910)
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This brief period is characterized by its own unique architectural style, fashion and lifestyle, and the golden parties of the great British Empire.. Artists were influenced by the development of the automobile, electricity, and awareness of human rights.
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The Modern Period of Literature (1900-1940)
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Loss of the hero in literature. A major theme is technology’s destruction of society. Free verse in poetry became popular. Major genre: stream of consciousness, make it new, epiphanies.
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Contemporary (1940s-Present)
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Popular techniques are fragmentation, paradox, and questionable narrators. It tries to stand out as confusing and not bring as much closure as past authors have. Takes classic material and twists it. Ex: Rowling, Adams, Lewis
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Geoffrey Chaucer (Canterbury Tails)
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Medieval Period
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William Shakespeare (Hamlet, Macbeth)
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The Renaissance
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John Milton (Paradise Lost)
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Civil War & Restoration
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Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
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Romantic Era
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Charles Dickens (Great Expectations) Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre) Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights)
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Victorian Period
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Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest) Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book) J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
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Edwardian Period
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James Joyce (Ulysses) T.S. Elliot (The Wasteland, The Hollow Men) Virginia Wolf (The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection)
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Modernism
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter)
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Contemporary
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Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels)
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Enlightenment
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Lord Byron and Percy/Mary Shelly
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Romantic Era
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1785-1832 Romantic period
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P and S. Shelley, Byron’s Don Juan, Pride and Prejudice
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1760-1787 Revolutionary Period
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The declaration of independence
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1828-1836 The nationalist period
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james cooper, emerson, irvings, longfellow evangeline
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naturalism 19th century
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a literary movement that claimed to portray life exactly as if it were being examined scientifically. Dreiser, London, steinbeck
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1900-1945 Modern Period
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Mark Twain, Jack London White Fang and Call of the Wild, Robert Frost, Henry James “Daisy Miller”
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449 AD
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Anglo-Saxon Invasion
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1000
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Beowulf written in England in the Anglo-Saxon language, narrative poem, 3,182 alliterative lines, Old English/ Pagan influence
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1066
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Normans (French) take over England in the Battle of Hastings, introduce feudalism, William the Conquerer
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1304
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Petrarch is born
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1327
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Petrarch meets Laura (his inspiration for writing)
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1343
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Chaucer is boen- author the Canterbury tales, known as the father of the old English language
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1374
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Petrarch dies
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1475
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Canterbury tales are written
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1485
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increased use of printing press/ English Renaissance begins
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1485
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Morte d’ Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
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1500
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Sir Thomas Wyatt introduces the “sonnet” to the english language
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miracle plays
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plays/ mysteries that are based on biblical stories, used during medieval times (10th- 16th centuries), originally in Latin performed in churches… but moved out, performed using vernacular
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450-1066 Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Period
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Beowulf-anonymous Caedmon’s Hymn-Bede The Wife’s Lament-an elegy The Wanderer-an elegy
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1066-1500 Middle English Period
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Canterbury Tales-Geoffrey Chaucer Le Morte d’Arthur-Malory Everyman-mortality play The Cuckoo Song-lyric poetry
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1500-1660 The Renaissance: 1558-1603 Elizabethan Age
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Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, Much Ado about Nothing, Richard III Christopher Marlowe: Tamburlaine the Great, Dr. Faustus, The Jew of Malta, Edward II Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene
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1500-1660 The Renaissance: 1603-1625 Jacobean Age
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Shakespeare: The Tempest, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Sonnets John Donne: his songs, sonnets, and elegies Francis Bacon: Reports Ben Johnson: Volpone (or The Fox) Thomas Middleton
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1500-1660 The Renaissance: 1625-1649 Caroline Age
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John Milton: Paradise Lost George Herbert: The Temple Robert Herrick: Hesperides Thomas Carew: An Elegy upon the Death of the Dean of Paul’s, Dr. John Donne
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1500-1660 The Renaissance: 1649-1660 Commonwealth Period
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Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan John Milton: The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates Lucy Hutchinson: Memoirs of the Life of Colonel John Hutchinson
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1660-1785 The Restoration and the 18th Century
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John Dryden: The Conquest of Granada, “Alexander’s Feast” Alexander Pope: The Rape of the Lock John Bunyan: Pilgrim’s Progress John Locke: Two Treatises of Government
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1785-1832 The Romantic Period
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John Keats: poems… Robert Burns Percy Bysshe Shelley: Prometheus Unbound Lord Byron: Don Juan/poems.. Jane Austen: ride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Women William Wordsworth: Lyrical Ballads Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner/ Kubla Khan John Keats: poetry>”When I have fears I may cease to be,” “Ode to a Grecian Urn”
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1830-1901 The Victorian Age
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Alfred Tennyson: Poems Charles Dickens: Robert Browning Elizabeth Barret Browning Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights George Eliot: Middlemarch Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Robert Louis Stevenson: Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Rudyard Kipling: Plain Tales from the Hills Thomas Hardy Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest/The Picture of Dorian Gray Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim George Bernard Shaw: Mrs. Warren’s Profession
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1848-1860 The Pre-Raphaelites
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Dante Gabriel Rosetti’s The House of LIfe Christina Rosetti’s The Goblin Market
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1900-present (20th century and after)
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Thomas Hardy George Bernard Shaw: Pygmalion T.S. Eliot: The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock D.H. Lawrence William Butler Yeats: “Lapis Lazuli,” “Byzantium,” Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway George Orwell: 1984 Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale
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1558 – 1603 Elizabethan Age (Renaissance)
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Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, “Much Ado about Nothing” and “Richard III” Marlowe’s “Tamburlaine the Great”, “Dr. Faustus”, “The Jew of Malta”, and “edward II” Spencer’s “The Faerie Queene”
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1603 – 1625 Jacobean Age (Renaissance)
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Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, “Othello”, “King Lear”, “Hamlet”, MacBeth”, his sonnets Donne’s songs, sonnets, and elegies Bacon’s “Reports” Johnson “Volpone” (or The Fox)
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1625 – 1649 Caroline Age (Renaissance)
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Milton’s “Paradise Lost” Herbert’s “The Temple” Herrick’s “Hesperides” Carew’s “An Elegy upon the Death of the Dean of Pauls “Dr. John Donne”
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1649 – 1660 Commonwealth Period (Renaissance)
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Hobbes “Leviathan” Milton’s “The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates Hutchinson’s “Memoirs of the Life of Colonel John Hutchinson”
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1660 – 1785The Restoration and the 18th Century
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Dryden;s “The Conquest of Granada” and “Alexander’s Feast” Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” Locke’s “Two Treaties of Government”
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1785 – 1832 The Romantic Period
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Keats’s “Lamia”, “Isabella”, “The Eve of St. Agnes”, and other Poems Burns’s “Pride and Prejudice” and “Northanger Abbey” Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads Jane Austen William Blake Shelley Byron Coleridge
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1900 – Present The 20th Century and After
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Hardy’s “on the Western Circuit” and “The Convergence of Twain” Shaw’s “Pygmallion” Eliot’s ‘The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock” Orwell’s “1984” Lawrence’s Women in Love Yeats’s -“Lapis Lazulli” – Byzantium – In the Seven Woods Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway Rushdie’s The satanic Verses Becket’s Waiting for Godot Atwood’s The Handsmaid’s Tale
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1500-1660 The Renaissance
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1558-1603 Elizabethan Age 1603-1625 Jacobean Age Ex) Hamlet, Macbeth 1625-1649 Caroline Age Ex) Paradise Lost 1649-1660 Commonwealth Period
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1900-present The 20th Century and After
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