Middle English literature refers to the works composed in the period between 1066-1500 CE This rich literary tradition includes works such as Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales, and Le Morte d'Arthur, among others. Middle English literature is particularly notable for its use of vivid imagery and strong characterization to create complex and often religious stories. These stories help to explain the culture of the time period, as well as provide us with insight into the spiritual beliefs of the people of the Middle Ages.
When analyzing Middle English literature, there are many topics that could be explored in a well-crafted essay. Here are five of the best examples of possible essay topics:
1. The Role of Chivalry in Middle English literature: This essay could explore how various authors used the concept of chivalry in their works, such as Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. It could also look at how the concept of chivalry evolved over time, and how these changes affected the way authors composed their stories.
2. The Treatment of Women in Middle English Literature: This essay could explore how female characters have been portrayed in Middle English literature, and compare them to how women were treated in the time period. This could include looking at the roles of women, their lack of power in society, and any changes that occurred during the Middle Ages.
3. The Impact of Religion on Middle English Literature: This essay could look at how writers like Geoffrey Chaucer used religious themes in their works, and how this impacted the development of Middle English literature. It could also look at how religious beliefs, such as the Catholic Church, influenced the writing of the time period.
4. The Use of Allegory in Middle English Literature: This essay could discuss how authors used allegory to make complex moral and ethical statements in their works. It could also explore how various authors employed this technique to convey deep, spiritual messages in their works.
5. The Development of the English Language in Middle English Literature: This essay could explore how the English language developed during this time period, and how this development had an effect on the writing of Middle English authors. This could include looking at the vernacular, dialects, and other linguistic changes that took place.