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What were the main conventions of medieval literature in England?

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wherareyou1 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM via web

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What were the main conventions of medieval literature in England?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 3, 2013 at 9:16 PM (Answer #1)

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By definition, medieval literature was not influenced by Greek philosophy, but the main influence was the Christian religious traditions and rituals, and the Latin language used by the educated persons.  For this reason, much of the literature of the time reflected the Judeo-Christian faith, and because many persons were not literate, the persons who did write used such preaching-teaching elements as stories, drama enactments, illustrated texts, etc. to convey their message.  Consequently, medieval literature tends to be anecdotal, plot-driven narratives, the Canterbury tales being a fine example of these trends.  In addition, the pageant play cycles, or Corpus Christi plays, used by the guilds to tell Bible stories, are now treated as literature.  Other examples might be oral tales transformed into texts, as Beowulf, Sir Gawain, and similar folk traditions.  


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