Impact of Norman Conquest in English Literature | Norman conquest of England | History of Norman Conquest.

Q. What do you know about the Norman conquest of England?  What is the history of Norman Conquest?


                       The Norman conquest of England in 1066 is an event of great significance in the life of Anglo- Saxon people and their literature. The Norman were races of Pagon Danes. They had affinity with the Anglo-Saxon. When the Danes become the masters of French province call Normandy and Saxons, they settled in the island. In 1066, William the Duke of Normandy claimed the English Crown on the death of King Edward the Confessor. He invaded England with a large army.

             Harold, the English King, marched to the south of the country. He took up position on a hill about six miles from Hestings, where the Normans found him. A battle took place which is known as Battle of Hestings. The Saxons army were destroyed. Norman archers killed their enemies including Harold Godwinson, the king himself. William became free to march to London and claimed himself as the king of England. This is how English suffered a defeat on the field of Hestings.

                       William conqueror subjugated the whole England. William the second, his Second Son called William Rufus was like his father, a stubborn ruler unjust and greedy. He was hated by the people. He was followed by Henry 1 the third son of conqueror.  He was also a cruel king who kept his elder brother Robert, Duke of Normandy in prison all his life. He endeared himself to the English to marry Matilda of Scotland who was a princess from the ancient King Wessex. This marriage brought the two races together.

              The Norman Conquest brought England more than a change of ruler. They brought with them literary ideas along with their laws and administration. Latin was the language of Official document. The polite society wrote in Latin but spoke in French. The Aristocrats were all Norman. As a result, English language and literature suffered a set back after the battle of Maldon. English Poetry particularly produced nothing about a century. However, with the growing of patriotism among the Anglo-Saxon, English language began to be used in official and national language. As a result, a new language with a mixture of French vocabulary and grammatical rules began in England.


   As a result, a new literature by the aristocrat Anglo - Norman came into focus. Two important ideals of French literature influenced the new English Literature. These are Romance and Allegory. The Middle English poetry began with the translation of French, Romance and Allegory.  There are four cycles of Romances. They are __ a) The matter of French.  b) The matter of Rome. c) The matter of Britain and d) The Romances of Saxon origin. Usually, love and war were the themes of these romances. The Allegory dealt with love and religion.  For example, ‘Roman Delarosa ' written by Guillaume de Lorries is an allegorical piece of writing. There were also some tables which dealt with follies and vices of the society.

impact of norman conquest in English literature
Impact of Norman Conquest

Impact of Norman Conquest on English Literature and Culture:

Norman conquest's impact on Culture:

  • Anglo Saxon Elites were replaced by the elite group of Franco Normans.
  • Church power and system was changed.
  • New Norman castles were built.
  • The Lords / Honorial court was created.
  • England became more close to France and Scandinavian countries.

Norman Conquest's impact on Literature:

  • Norman French became higher class language in case of English.
  • Literature became practical withour religion,entertainment.
  • Significant innovations brought in rhymed stanzas.

Written by: Ayeesha Tahane, BD.

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