Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Literature
The study of Anglo-Saxon literature extends from the establishment of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 5th century until the Norman Conquest in 1066. Anglo-Saxon poetry is divided into heroic pre-Christian poetry and poetry with Christian influence. Beowulf, a complete epic poem,is the oldest surviving Germanic epic and the most important poem in Old English. The spread of troubadours during the Middle Ages led to the replacement of the heroic code of Anglo-Saxon literature with the trope of courtly love. Medieval drama included works such as the morality play, Everyman. The corpus of Middle English literature was heavily influenced by the French, and consists of works such as Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales andArthurian lore.