- alliterative revival
- The term alliterative revival refers to a renewal of interest in ALLITERATIVE VERSE among late 14th-century MIDDLE ENGLISH poets.OLD ENGLISH verse had been governed by strict rules of stress and alliteration, but after the Norman Conquest of 1066 introduced French literature and French tastes into the English courts, alliterative poetry in English became rare, at least in written texts, with many English poets turning to rhymed metrical verse as a result of the French influence.Still alliterative English verse seems never to have died out completely: LAYAMON used alliteration in his Brut (ca. 1200), and the five religious prose texts from the early 13th-century West Midlands known collectively as the KATHERINE GROUP make extensive use of alliterative prose. Judging from these scattered remains, it seems likely that an oral tradition of alliterative verse in English survived into the 14th century.As written texts in English began to appear in the late 14th century, there was a strong revival of the use of alliterative verse, particularly in the west and the northwest of England. It has been suggested that such poetry was a nationalistic reaction against French poetic forms. Important texts included in this tradition are LANGLAND’s PIERS PLOWMAN and the anonymous poems SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT, PEARL, WINNER AND WASTER, The PARLEMENT OF THE THREE AGES, and THE ALLITERATIVE MORTE ARTHURE, among others. Although there is much more variation among these poems than in the more strictly rule-bound Old English verses, one still finds lines of four strong stresses, a clear caesura, and alliteration linking the two half lines.Bibliography■ Lawton, David, ed. Middle English Alliterative Poetry and Its Literary Background: Seven Essays. Cambridge, U.K.: Brewer, 1982.■ Moorman, Charles. “The English Alliterative Revival and the Literature of Defeat,” Chaucer Review 16 (1981): 85–100.
Encyclopedia of medieval literature. 2013.
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Alliterative Morte Arthure — (ca. 1400–1402) This masterpiece of the ALLITERATIVE REVIVAL survives in a single manuscript, Lincoln Cathedral Library 91, compiled ca. 1440 by the scribe Robert Thornton. Although the date of composition is uncertain (with some scholars… … Encyclopedia of medieval literature
alliterative verse — All poetry written in Old Germanic languages uses a system of alliterative verse, the best examples of which can be found in the OLD ENGLISH poetic corpus. This form of meter doubtlessly originates among oral poets or SCOPS, who would have… … Encyclopedia of medieval literature
Alliterative Morte Arthure — The Alliterative Morte Arthure is a 4346 line Middle English poem, retelling the latter part of the legend of King Arthur. The poem is one of the most significant works in the short lived revival of alliterative verse in the 14th century. History … Wikipedia
English literature — Introduction the body of written works produced in the English language by inhabitants of the British Isles (including Ireland) from the 7th century to the present day. The major literatures written in English outside the British Isles are… … Universalium
Awntyrs off Arthure at the Terne Wathelyne, The — (ca. 1375–1425) The Awntyrs off Arthure at the Terne Wathelyne, a poem written in MIDDLE ENGLISH, is an important contribution to the ALLITERATIVE REVIVAL. The poem is an Arthurian ROMANCE but, interestingly, does not detail the adventures of… … Encyclopedia of medieval literature
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — is a late 14th century Middle English alliterative romance outlining an adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur s Round Table. In the tale, Sir Gawain accepts a challenge from a mysterious warrior who is completely green, from his… … Wikipedia
Middle English — (ca. 1100–ca. 1500) The Middle English period is essentially a transitional period in the history of the English language between the basically Germanic character of OLD ENGLISH and the language of the earliest printed books that record what… … Encyclopedia of medieval literature
William of Palerne — (ca. 1340–60) William of Palerne is a lively, fantastical, and lengthy (over 5,500 lines) 14th century MIDDLE ENGLISH alliterative adaptation of a French ROMANCE, Guillaume de Palerne. The date of composition is believed to be between 1340 and … Encyclopedia of medieval literature
Cleanness — Not to be confused with Cleanliness. Cleanness is a Middle English alliterative poem written in the late 14th century. Its unknown author, designated the Pearl poet or Gawain poet, also appears, on the basis of dialect and stylistic evidence, to… … Wikipedia
Parliament of the Three Ages, The — (The Parlement of the Thre Ages) (ca. 1370–90) The Parliament of the Three Ages is a late 14thcentury alliterative poem of some 660 lines, composed somewhere in the north Midlands. The poem survives in two manuscripts, and is part of the… … Encyclopedia of medieval literature