The Middle English Period of English Literature

Secret of The Medieval / Middle English Period in English Literature (1066-1500) That You should never miss to know

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The Medieval / Middle English Period in English Literature (1066-1500)

The term Middle English literature refers to the literature written in the form of the English language known as Middle Eng., from the late 12th century until the 1470s. During this time the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based Eng. became widespread and the printing press regularized the language.

The Middle English Period of English Literature

The Middle English Period of English Literature

The medieval history of English literature begins with the Norman Conquest by Norman Duke and William the Conqueror.

He occupied England in 1066. As a result, the reign of the Normans began in England. The history of English literature is called the Middle Ages, the period from 1066 to 1500.

The Middle English Period is divided into three small parts: 

  1. The Anglo-Norman Period (1066-1340): (Anglo-Norman period) 
  2. The Age of Chaucer (1340-1400): (The period of Chaucer) 
  3. Age of Barren or Dark Age (1400-1500)


Some important facts of the Middle English Period: –

⇒ This period is also called the Barren / Dark Ages as no information is available about the beginning of the Middle English Period (1400-1500 years). (Dark Ages of Bengali Literature 1200-1350).

⇒ On 15 June 1215, the Magna Carta was passed, which reigned in the power of the king in England. (Magna Charta in Bengali is 6-point. Six-point demand in 1966)

⇒ The English Parliament was established in 1295.

⇒ In the 11th-13th centuries, a religious war called Crusade was organized between Muslims and Christians.

⇒ Due to Black Death, the feudal system is broken.

⇒ In 1476 William Caxton founded the Printing Press.

⇒ Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492 in search of waterways to India.

⇒ Vasco-da-Gama arrived in India in 1498.

⇒ During this period Copernicus proved that the Sun is the center of all planets.

⇒ Love, Chivalry, and Religion are the three topics that can be noticed more in the literature of this time.

⇒ The famous Oxford and Cambridge universities were established during this Anglo-Norman era to expand religious education.

⇒ Oxford University was founded in 1168 in Oxford City.

⇒ Cambridge University was founded in 1209 in Cambridge City.

⇒ Petrarch is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the “Dark Ages”.

⇒ “The Canterbury Tales” was written by John Wycliffe

⇒ “The new testament” was written by – John Wycliffe

⇒ John Wycliffe was called “The Morning Star of the Reformation”

⇒ John Wycliffe was the first to translate the Bible into English.

⇒ John Wycliffe is called “ Father of English prose (গদ্য)/First prose writer in English (আলফ্রেড দ্য গ্রেড নাম না থাকলে)

John Wycliffe was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, Biblical translator, reformer, seminary professor at Oxford. He was an influential dissident within the Roman Catholic priesthood (পৌরহিত্য) during the 14th century.

⇒ John Wycliffe’s followers, known as the Lollards, were later hailed for their anti-pope movement, the Protestant Reformation.


⇒ Geoffrey Chaucer was a representative poet of the 14th century.

⇒ Chaucer was the first to write poetry in pure English.

⇒ Geoffrey Chaucer was simultaneously a diplomat, philosopher, bureaucrat, royal adviser, and ambassador. The Age of Chaucer (1340-1400) is named after him.

Canterbury Tales is his best book of poetry. It was first published in 148. It is a collection of 24 stories with 16,000 lines of poetry. His other famous book is The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.


→ the Father of English Poem / Poetry.

→ The Father of English Literature

→ The Father of English Language

→ The Morning Star of the Renaissance

→ The First National Poet

→ Grandfather of English Novels.


Major works of Geoffrey Chaucer:

→ Translation of Roman de la Rose, possibly extant as The Romaunt of the Rose

→ The Book of the Duchess

→ The House of Fame

→ Anelida and Arcite

→ Parlement of Foules

→ Translation of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy as Boece

→ Troilus and Criseyde

→ The Legend of Good Women

→ The Canterbury Tales

→ A Treatise on the Astrolabe


Short poems of Geoffrey Chaucer

→ An ABC

→ Chaucers Wordes unto Adam, His Owner Scriveyn (disputed)

→ The Complaint unto Pity

→ The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse

→ The Complaint of Mars

→ The Complaint of Venus

→ A Complaint to His Lady

→ The Former Age

→ Fortune

→ Gentiles

→ Lak of Steadfastness

→ Lenvoy de Chaucer a Scogan

→ Lenvoy de Chaucer a Bukton

→ Proverbs

→ Balade to Rosemounde

→ Truth

→ Womanly Noblesse

Spurious works of Geoffrey Chaucer:

→ The Pilgrim’s Tale – written in the 16th century with many Chaucerian allusions

→ The Plowman’s Tale or The Complaint of the Ploughman – a Lollard satire later appropriated as a Protestant text

→ Pierce the Ploughman’s Crede – a Lollard satire later appropriated by Protestants

→ The Ploughman’s Tale – its body is largely a version of Thomas Hoccleve’s “Item de Beata Virgine”

→ “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” – frequently attributed to Chaucer, but actually a translation by Richard Roos of Alain Chartier’s poem

→ The Testament of Love – actually by Thomas Usk

→ Jack Upland – a Lollard satire

→ The Floure and the Leafe – a 15th-century allegory


⇒ Sir Thomas Malory’s famous prose book is called Morte D’Arthur. It was published in 1485 by William Caxton. It was the first major of prose fiction in English Literature. This is the first romance in prose of English literature.

***  King Morte D’ Arthur নামে বিখ্যাত কবিতা লিখেছেন  Victorian যুগের কবি Alfred Tennyson

Dante is called the “Father of the Italian Language”. & “The supreme Poet of Italy”.

Famous Epic of Dante –  “The Divine Comedy (Originally called Comedia)

Petrarch is traditionally called the “Father of Humanism,” and considered by many to more generally be the “Father of the Renaissance.” 

During this period, English writers followed famous Italian poets such as Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. 

Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio These three famous Italian poets are collectively called The Three Crowns / The Three Fountains.

কবি মেচন্দ্র বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় Dante এর The Divine Comedy অবলম্বনে তাঁর বিখ্যাত ছায়াময়ী কাব্য রচনা করেন। “Inferno” (the First part of The Divine Comedy) is a famous poem of Dante. Inferno means Hell (Inferno মানে নরক) এটি একটি বিখ্যাত কবিতা।


⇒ Roger Bacon (1214-1292) was a famous literary person Anglo-Norman Period. Opus Majus is his famous book. Roger Bacon is also called the father of modern science). 

This is the era of English Dramas called Miracle Play, Mystery Play, Interlude..

William Langland is the presumed author of a work of Middle English alliterative verse generally known as Piers Plowman, an allegory with a complex variety of religious themes.

Famous Anthology, Vision of Piers Plowman written by William Langland, was also a social satire and perhaps it was the first great English satire.


Some important literary works of the Middle English Period

  • Dante
  • Sir John Mandeville
  • John Wycliffe
  • William Langland
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Sir Thomas Malory
  • John Lydgate
  • William Dunbar


Important Literary Works in the middle English Period

Name Of the Writer Birth Death Literary Works Title
The Divine Comedy (Originally called Comedia) EPIC The Father of the Italian Language.
Inferno (Famous Poem) The supreme Poet of Italy
Sir John Mandeville Travels of Sir John Mandeville
John Wycliffe
31 December 1384 (aged 56)
The Last Age of the Church (1356) Morning Star of the Reformation
De Logica (“On Logic”) 1360 Evening Star of Scholasticism
De Universalibus (“On Universals”) 1368 Reformation of English Church
De Dominio Divino (1373) Father of English prose
De Mandatis Divinis (1375)
De Statu Innocencie (1376)
De Civili Dominio (1377)
Responsio (1377)
De Ecclesia (“On the Church”) 1378
De veritate sacrae scripturae (On the Truthfulness of Holy Scripture) 1378
On the Pastoral Office 1378
De apostasia (“On Apostasy”) 1379
De Eucharistia (On the Eucharist”) 1379
Objections to Friars (1380)
The last age of the pope (1381)
William Langland 1332 1386 Vision of Piers Plowman (Famous Anthology / কাব্যগ্রন্থ)
Geoffrey Chaucer
London, England
25 October 1400 (aged 56–57)
London, England
The House of Fame (Poems) The First great modernist
Troilus and Criseyde(Poems) Father of English Language
The Parliament of Fowls(Poems) Father of English Literature
The Book of the Duchess(Poems) First Humorist in English Literature
The Legend of Good Women(Poems) Father of English Modern Poetry
Roman de la Rose(Poems) The first English story-teller
The Story of Griselda(Poems) The Morning Star of the Renaissance
Anelida and Arcite(Poems) The First National Poet
Grandfather of English Novels.
Sir Thomas Malory c. 1415
Warwickshire, England
14 March 1471
Newgate Prison, London, England
Morte D’ Arthur (Famous Prose)
John Lydgate Troy Book
The Story of Thebes
William Dunbar The Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins



Ages of English Literature – BCS, NTRCA and other BD govt job Preparation – 2021