English literature begins with the history of dark ages about 8th – 14th centuries comes to the forefront with own various types including epics, ballads, hymns and so on. The first examples of English literature were written in Anglo-Saxon’s language, which is the source of English speaking but should be considered almost another language. Almost all men of literature accept that English literature begins with Beowulf, belongs to the Germanic Tradition of the Anglo-Saxons.
Dark ages, also called Old English, have a more vague structure than the present day, whether language structure or meaning has elusive features. The main point of the Old English is the oral tradition without written works.
Old English Period has no written text or works, ends with the Norman Conquest, a turning point in British history, to the middle of 11th century, – the transition from the oral phase to written phase. With closing Old English Period, Middle English Period begins.
This period helps to shape English Literature’s framework and produces many literary products. Geoffrey Chaucer was the greatest creator of Middle English literature. In his long poems such as Troilus and Criseyde (1385) and Canterbury Tales (1387-1400), Chaucer painted very vivid portraits of people of all kinds and wrote many stories in different moods from the most pitiful to the most laughable.
After the humanist movement which started in the 15th century, it brought up great artists in English literature, poetry, theater, and prose. Spencer, who is considered to be the greatest poet of English poetry, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Ben Johnson, Milton, Bacon, which are the greatest theatrical writers of world literature as well as English literature, are among these artists who gave the most brilliant works of English Renaissance. In the 18th century, artists such as Defoe, Swift, and Feilding gained fame; different literary movements influenced artists in later periods.