Ch 10: AP English: English Literary Periods and Movements

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons about English literary periods and learn about Romantic poetry, Victorian novels, Renaissance plays, and more. These lessons are just a portion of our AP English course.

AP English: English Literary Periods and Movements - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

When studying literature, we often classify work by the time period in which it was written because historical events had a great impact on the writers who experienced them. In this chapter, we'll overview the important historical periods and literary movements that accompany them in order to give you a framework from which to study individual texts. Each lesson focuses on a specific literary period, naming both characteristics of the writing as well as famous authors of the time. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Explain the historical events leading up to the Victorian era
  • Define the characteristics of Romantic writing
  • Categorize works from the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Discuss medieval languages and their relation to modern English
  • Understand how the First World War affected the Modernists

VideoObjective
Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical ContextLearn some medieval history and a few of the surviving works that came out of it.
Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and WorksUnderstand what the Renaissance meant for British literature, especially dramatists, poets, and essayists.
Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and WorksExplore the work of Shakespeare, John Milton, Jonathan Swift, and more from this exciting period in literary history.
Introduction to Romantic Prose: Overview of Authors and WorksLearn about the characteristics of Romantic prose and how Mary Shelley, Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, and the Brönte sisters used them.
Introduction to Romantic Poetry: Overview of Authors and WorksUnderstand Romantic themes in poetry and some of the poets who wrote about nature and emotions.
Introduction to Victorian Literature: Overview of Themes, Style, and AuthorsLearn about the events leading up to the Victorian era and how they influenced the writers of that time.
Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and StyleExplore Joyce, Eliot, Woolf, Lawrence, and Beckett and their contributions to the Modernist movement in Britain.

7 Lessons in Chapter 10: AP English: English Literary Periods and Movements
Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical Context

1. Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical Context

We'll go over some quick medieval history to situate some of the major literary works of the time period. We're going from Caedmon and Beowulf, writing in Old English, all the way up to Sir Thomas Malory's collections of the Arthur myths in late Middle English.

Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and Works

2. Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and Works

Chances are, you've heard of the term 'Renaissance' before, but do you know what it means? Watch this video to learn about how this artistic movement forever altered England and the way we look at literature.

Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

3. Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

A lot can happen in 200 years, as you'll see on our lesson that introduces you to British literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. Go from Shakespeare to the invention of the novel to the introduction of a prominent dictionary in our video below!

Introduction to Romantic Prose: Overview of Authors and Works

4. Introduction to Romantic Prose: Overview of Authors and Works

Romantic prose exists in novels, short stories and essays written during the Romantic period, specifically in England. The Romantic period lasted from about 1800 to 1840.

Introduction to Romantic Poetry: Overview of Authors and Works

5. Introduction to Romantic Poetry: Overview of Authors and Works

Like the French Revolution that helped inspire it, the Romantic poetry movement signaled massive, controversial changes with ramifications that are still being felt today. Watch this video lesson for an introduction to Romantic poetry, including descriptions of the major authors and significant works.

Introduction to Victorian Literature: Overview of Themes, Style, and Authors

6. Introduction to Victorian Literature: Overview of Themes, Style, and Authors

Victorian literature is literature written in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, or roughly from 1837 -1901. It is largely characterized by the struggle of working people and the triumph of right over wrong.

Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style

7. Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style

This video provides an introduction to the literary movement known as Modernism. Encompassing such writers as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, Modernism developed out of a sense that the art forms of the late nineteenth-century were inadequate to describe the condition of Europe after World War I.

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