Write a note on the Mediaeval Alliterative Literature?

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     Revival of the old English literature poems was started in the middle of the 14th century. Alliterative verse generally those kind of composition where every syllable beings with the same sound and get repeated. Roughly between the year 1350 A.D and 1400 A.D there appeared a number of poems in a metre which had clearly evolved and unbroken, development from the old alliterative measures of Old English Literature. Majority of the composition where dream allegories, a direct product from the mediaeval French allegories. In this revival of alliterative poems, using both rhyme and alliteration, four notable poems are to be found, they were written in the West Midland dialect. The authorship of those compositions is not known, but it is supposed that they were written by the same poet. Among those famous alliterative compositions the name of the four poems are 'Pearl', 'Purity', 'Patience', and 'Sir Gawayne and The Green Knight'.

Revival of the old English literature poems was started in the middle of the 14th century. Alliterative verse generally those kind of composition where every syllable beings with the same sound and get repeated.
Mediaeval Alliterative verse


     Pearl :- Of the Four poems Pearl is definitely a real piece of poetry a poem of some 1200 arranged in the stanza of 12 lines. Pearl is a dream allegory, cast in the form of a dream. The poet of Pearl had lost his daughter of only 2 years old. In his sorrow he visits her grave and falls asleep, lulled by the fragrance of herbs and flowers all around. Then has a dream of his daughter whom he finds with the bliss of Heavenly Kingdom.


     Purity :- Apart from Pearl the other alliterative poem which is also extremely famous in mediaeval literature is Purity. This poem has a discussion on purity. The alliterative allegorical composition shows the impossibility to approach God without cleanliness. The poem is technically very accomplished and as much of allegorical element.


     Patience :- Among the Alliterative cycle of mediaeval poems another most notable poetic piece is Patience. This is in reality political paraphrase of the story Jonah and it reveals the the virtue of patients. It consists of 531 line and contains some finally descriptive passages.


     Sir Gawayne And The Green Knight :- This poem of some 2530 lines is the greatest English alliterative poem on the Arthurian romance. Arranged in the stanzas of unequal length, the poem contains the great adventures of Sir Gawayne in the dreadful lands, haunted by Demons and Monsters and Fairies. This composition is inspired with the ideal of chivalry and at the same time it shows mediaeval life in its detail description of the court, dress, armour, woodcraft and architecture.

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