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The Development of English


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The Development of English

Throughout time the English language has been subject to an ever-changing evolutionary process, adjusting and adopting to its geographical circumstances, cultural influences and niches. The English language has undergone a series of transitional changes since its origins dating back to c.400 A.D. whilst Britain was under occupation by hosts of Germanic tribes. Detailed throughout the literature that still exists in our modern world, it is possible to trace links between the English language and its development throughout different cultures and historical time periods. The study of the development of the English language has been used to represent the specific ideals and notions that pertain to particular cultures throughout history. Anglo-Saxon poetry express its cultural identity and values that underpin Anglo Saxon society, through ancient texts such as Beowulf exploring notions of heroism and servitude. Middle English literature such as The Millers Tale, unmasks the inner feudal system that deciphers the hierarchal structure within Middle England. The Holkam bible through both visual representation and literature highlights the Biblical understanding at the time and cultural barriers that were associated.

The Miller’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer is an example of Middle English poetry that represents the societal structure of the time through language. The Miller’s Tale expresses the hierarchal structure in Middle England through denoting each individual characters social standing within society. The Miller’s Tale entails the story of a carpenter who falls in love with a juvenile/adolescent girl (“Of eighteteene yeer she was of age”); a love triangle develops between three men and a woman, further digressing into a story of humor and irony aimed to satisfy the upper class. Geoffrey Chaucer depicts the carpenter as man who acts above

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