Norman Conquest and Old English Essay

634 Words Feb 8th, 2013 3 Pages
The influence of Norman Conquest on Old English:
The world of Old English Literature underwent a radical upheaval due to the invasion of the new French Language and culture which was an aftermath of the Norman conquest of 1066 which set into motion a very different trend of life and literature in the island of Brittany. The influence of the Norman culture, especially its literary aspect is immense. The debts of the vernacular literature of France penetrated very little into the English soil as the French were no apostles of culture. However, the Norman Conquest forced English into a subservient position from which it only gradually re-emerged as a language simplified in structure and its spelling, vocabulary and literary expression were
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Learning and Literature further gained by the coming of great scholars like Lanfranc who opened the famous monastic school at Bec and also by the interconnection between great centers of learning like Paris and Oxford.
As a result of the Norman Conquest, Wessex lost its political and cultural importance because of which its dialect of West Saxon which had established its supremacy in the Anglo-Saxon Age lost its former stronghold which led to the flourishing of other Middle English dialects as the writers were now encouraged to write in the dialects of their own region. The newfound political, economic and geographical importance of London and not Winchester as the administrative center of the kingdom also helped to determine the future written and spoken forms of the ‘standard English’ of today. However, with the growing prestige and popularity of French, the native culture and language had to suffer from aristocratic unconcern and neglect. This is noticeable in the fact that the alliterative verses of the Anglo-Saxon Age were replaced by the French rhymed verses, although they revived again later in the mid fourteenth century.
The Norman Conquest stands for much more than a change of rulers. It altered the socio-cultural life of England and imparted a higher and more sophisticated and specialized order of civilization. The English language lost its

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