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Poetry and prose

A strong rhythm and the use of alliteration and repetition characterise anglosaxon poetry. The most important example of old english literature is the epic poem Beowulf. It tells of a monster, Grendel, who is killing danish warriors. Beowulf is called to fight the monster and he kills it.
The most popular literary works for the non-aristocratic audiences were the romances, narrative works in verse or prose which were born in France. Courtly love was a very important element, but many romances had a moral aim, because they dealt with the codes of a chivalry.
A lyric is a short poem expressing intense personal emotion, was either religious or secular. The ballad was a poem of folk origin which told a story.
Geoffrey Chaucer is England's first great poet; he is considered the father of english language because he wrote all his poetry in the dialect that was spoken in the area of London. His most important work is the Canterbury Tales.
King Alfred traslated the most significant latin works of his time into old english.
The work which is the first example of english narrative art is the Historia Regum Britanniae, written in latin by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
John Wycliffe started the first translation of the Bible into english.
William Caxton estabilished the first english press (1476).
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