How did the spread of Christianity and the Norman conquest influence English literature respectively?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Christianity and the Norman Conquest of 1066 by William the Conqueror introduced into the English language new French and Biblical words and phrases from which authors could draw upon and reference in their writing. A class system was developed in England where the Clergy and the French nobility were at the top and the English peasants were at the bottom. This led authors like Chaucer to write about the idiosyncrasies of the class system whereas poets like Spenser drew upon Christian teachings to teach lessons of life through heroic knights like the Redcrosse Knight in "The Faerie Queen." For a fun and interesting ten minutes about the subject, check out the YouTube link below from a video by The Open University (PG-13 FYI). :)