English Literature

Modern English

Modern English In Literature | Standard English | New Era English from 16th Century

Modern English
Modern English Or Standard English


                          The Modern English Period extends from the beginning of the 16th century to the present day. This long period can be subdivided into the “Early Modern English Period” and “Later Modern English Period”. The early period extends from 1601 to 1700 and the latter from 1701 to the present day. Today English occupies an enviable position as the official language in the world. In India too, we are greatly dependent on English for official, social, and commercial purposes. Globalization has further strengthened the requirement of learning and using English for everyday activities.


                         The fall of Constantinople into the hands of Turks and the consequent spread of Greek scholars in the continent, the Renaissance, the reformation, the invention of the printing press by Caxton in 1476, and the discovery of America by Columbus had far-reaching effects and shook the very of Middle English.

                                    English is a cosmopolitan language. Its global appeal originated not only from certain but the qualities and characteristics of the language also helped much in its worldwide extension. The most significant characteristic of Modern English is its extraordinarily receptive and adaptable heterogeneousness. The ease and readiness with which English borrowed words from French, Latin, Scandinavian, Greek, Indian and other sources is really striking. The development of science and technology, and the two world wars also brought a fairly large number of words into modern English.

                                    Modern English differs from Old English and Middle English in many aspects. Old English was a highly inflected language. But during the Middle English period, there was a gradual loss in the use of inflections. There are a few inflections in Modern English. The middle ages had been a keen interest in matters of philosophy and religion whereas man has now drifted towards science and agnosticism. Science has awakened a new sense in him. The Modern English language also reflects this growing love of science by becoming analytic more and more.

Illogical Spelling and Pronunciation: 

                                                          In Modern English, one finds numerous changes in sound which became responsible for changes in pronunciation. During the old English period, the pronunciation of words was completely based on phonetics.

                        Modern English is distinguished from old English and Middle English for its illogical system of spelling and the frequent lack of correlation between the spelling of words and their pronunciation. For Example, ‘sun’ and ‘son’ are pronounced almost without any variation in sound. Similarly, ‘U’ is pronounced quite differently in words such as but, put, university, etc. In this context “AC Bough remarks:

            “The situation is confusing in the treatment of the consonants”.

Another feature of Modern English is its most varied and vast treasure of words. Many people and tongues come to England from time to time and left their indelible impact on the language of the island. English being, progressive and digestive continued to abson so many words from these people and these tongues.

                        Another characteristic of Modern English is its freedom from dry lexicography and literal pedantry. It has become how a day is comparatively flexible and soft. In it, one part of speech can function for other. Nouns are being used as adjectives as in ‘Bus Station’ and ‘boyfriend’. In the same way, verbs are employed as nouns as in “a wash”, a cut.


                        The Sum up, English has the brightest prospect of becoming an international language in near future. In recent years Modern English has been influenced by American English. Therefore, it should be prepared to undergo any changes in its spelling and pronunciation, and grammar as may be necessary to bridge the long-felt gap of the entire world.

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Varsha Singh

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New Criticism

New Criticism in literature | 20th Century Criticism | Modern Criticism

New Criticism
New Criticism


The New Criticism was a formalist Movement in literary theory that dominated American literary criticism in the middle decades of the 20th century. It emphasized close reading, particularly poetry, to discover how a work of literature functioned as a self-contained, self-referential, aesthetic object. The movement delivered its from ‘John Crowe Ransoms’ 1941 book “The New Criticism”. The method of New Criticism is a close reading and concentrates on such a formal aspects as rhythm, theme, imaginary metaphor, etc.

 The meaning of new criticism is to analyze and find the meaning within Literature by utilizing just the text, rather than considering any influence or intentions of the author or the historical and cultural background might have had on the work. This theory focuses on the idea that the true meaning can be found in the text. The foundation of the New Criticism was laid in the books and essays written between 1920 and 1930 by J. A. Richard (practical criticism) T. S. Eliot (The Function of Criticism). The approach was significantly developed, late however by a group of American poets and critics including John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, and William K. Wimsatt.

Chief Exponent of New Criticism:

I. A. Richards

I. A. richard
I. A. Richards

Ivor Armstrong Richards together with Eliot is the most influential critic in the 20th century Anglo American criticism. He has been considered the father of new criticism. Among the modern I. A. Richard is the only critic who has formulated a systematic and complete theory of literary art. His reputation as a critic in a limited number of the critical books he wrote, his first book The Foundation of Aesthetics written in collaboration with his two friends.

In the book, the authors have tried to define beauty by studying its effect on readers. His second book The Meaning of Meaning was written with Ogden, it distinguished between the symbolic use of language in Science and its emotionally used in poetry. Practical Criticism is based on his lecture room experiments conducted in Cambridge.

“The quality of a good critic is three, says I. A. Richard”

(i) A critic must be adept at experiencing without eccentricities, the state of mind relevant to the work of art.
(ii) Critic must be able to distinguish experiences from one another as regards their less superficial features
(iii) Critic must be a sound judge of value.
Richard himself poses their qualities. He did a great service to literacy criticism by linking it with psychology.

TS Eliot

220px Thomas Stearns Eliot

Tradition and individual talent are one of the more well-known works that Eliot produced in his critique capacity. This essay was first published in The Egoist (1919), and later in Eliot’s first book of criticism, The Sacred wood (1920). In his essay Hamlet and his problem, he uses the phrase Objective Correlative. It describes how emotions are best expressed in poetry and it is a part of his theory e of impersonality concentrating not on the poet but the poetry Eliot’s insistence on the fact, that poetry must be impersonal greatly influenced the formation of New Criticism.

John Crowe Ransome

John Crowe Ransom was an American educator, scholar, critic, poet, essayist, and editor. He is considered to be the founder of New Criticism. He says that Critics must study literature, not about literature. In new criticism propose the following ideas: –
◽ Text becomes the focus of the close reading.
◽ The analysis of a text has to be scientific and precise.
Personal historical, moral, and biographical details around a text are all rejected in the field of New Criticism.

Cleanth Brooks

Cleanth Brooks was an influential American teacher and critic, whose work was important in establishing the new criticism, which stressed close reading and Structural Analysis of literature.

William Kurtz Wimsatt

William Kurtz Wimsatt was also an American professor of English literary theorists and critics. Wimsatt is often associated with a discussion of intentional fallacy which he developed with Monrac Beardsley in order to discuss the importance of an author’s intention with the creation of a work of art.

Intentional Fallacy is the mistake of attempting to understand the author’s intentions when interpreting a literary work. Such an approach is fallacious because the meaning of a work should be contained solely within the work itself, and attempts to understand the author’s it intention wallet violate the autonomy of the work.

Robert Penn Warren

Robert Penn Warren was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic. He was one of the founders of new criticism. Along with Cleanth Brooks, he was also known as the leading representative of New Criticism and his works helped revolutionize the teaching of literature by bringing New Criticism into America’s College classroom.


Thus, New Criticism focused on the purity of text and purity of the act of reading and analyzing without bothering about historical or political perspectives around the text. To apply New Criticism, a critic must look only at the text of a work of literature and can find its meaning by looking at the themes, structures, and literary devices present. New Criticism takes the idea of text as an isolated cerebral process away from politics, morality, history, etc. 

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French Borrowing Words and French Loan Words

French Borrowing Words & French Loan Words | French loan Words In English Literature

French Borrowing Words and French Loan Words
French Borrowing Words and French Loan Words


There are several countries in the world and most countries have their own language but they are taken lots of words from their neighboring countries likewise the English language is a language that has debts lots of its words from different countries. All these words are called Loan words as well as Borrowing words. In English, these words have come from French, Latin, Greek, Spanish, American language, and Italian. Words that have come into the English language from French are known as French Loan words.

Historical Background:

The history of the English language is usually divided into four significant periods. It can be classified both on the basis of linguistic differences and on the basis of Historical events that influenced the development of the English language.

SNEnglishPeriodInfluences From
1Old English450 – 1100 ADCeltic, Latin, Greek, Anglo-Saxan (Germane)
2Middle English1100 – 1500Scandinavian and French
3Early Modern English1500 – 1700French, Latin, Greek
4Modern English1700 – PresentSpanish, American, Italian, etc.
Historical Period Influenced by English

English has been influenced by many languages such as French Latin Greek and Scandinavian. The Norman people brought the French language into English literature. English has been influenced by the French loan words, mainly in Middle English and early modern English period. French loan words are different from the other loan from the same period. They refer to the law, arts, science, food, medicine, agriculture, sport, fashion, etc. Because of its extent, it is one of the most interesting foreign influences on the English language.

According to different sources 45% of all English words a French origin. French loan words began to enter the English language during the period of Middle English, but the evidence in writing can be found in Early modern English. The loan words were recorded long after they came in use because it took some time before they entered standard English. French loan words are varied and simple as opposed to Latin and Scandinavian loan words. They exist around 7000 French words in the English language at the present.

Example of French loan words in English:

◽ Some English words that came from French society that is connected to law such as advocate, bail, lawyer, Court, judgment, client, punishment, jail, plea, etc.
◽ There are several words related to science and technology which comes from French example such as physics, practical, experiment, guns, missile, bullet, bomb, gravity, motion, etc.
◽ There are lots of words in the English language related to education that has come from French society such as uniform, classroom, language, literature, University, certificate, Degree, College, tuition, etc.

◽ There are several words connected to art, music, and literature which come from French society such as Dance, singer, stage, guitar, piano, audience, poem, poet, prose, poetry, drama, novel, essay, period, era, novelist, etc.
◽ There are several words connecting to food and medicine that have come from French society such as rice, bread, grain, field, vegetables, dinner, breakfast, food, tea, sugar, tea, leaves, medicine, doctor, patients, etc.

◽ Words related to agriculture that came from French society such as plant, tree, water, field, worker, work, etc.
◽ There are following words which connected to Fashion and decoration have come from French society as cream, shoes, powder, sleepers, mirror, comb, cosmetics, etc. 


Thus now we can say that we cannot even imagine the English language without French loan words. Even today after so many years we can still see the evidence of French influence in English. Besides there above-mentioned words, there are also many words related to Geography, military, terms, clothing, novel, and titles that come from French in English. So, it is clear that French loan words have had a significant impact on the development of the English language. There is no doubt that to say that the English language is indebted to there above-mentioned French loan words.

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War Poetry War Poets

War Poetry In English Literature | Fight during World War 1st | War Poets

War Poetry War Poets
War Poetry War Poets


” War Poetry” is a literary genre that developed during the period of the First World War. It is the shadow of brutal life among the soldiers during the “First World War”. The war poets were mostly young men who volunteered or were conscripted to fight in the trenches of the Western Front. The war poets wrote their poetry to raise the question of either life or death; National pride or own existence; duty Or guilt; courage or cowardness.

The war poets or Trench poets are known as “Anti-war poets” because the soldier cum poets do not show war’s gravity but the war’s futility. They witnessed the horrors of modern warfare, such as gas attacks, shell shock, machine guns, barbed wire, mud, and rats. they also experienced the boredom, futility, and disillusionment of life in the trenches. Some of them died in battle, while others survived with physical and psychological scars.

Broadly speaking Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ or Ancient ‘Beowulf’ are mainly concerned with battles and heroism and thus regarded the war poem. But our immediate concern is war poetry in the 1920s which is notable for the sea change in attitude. In contrast to the romantic attitude to war as a glorious occasion for showing patriotism and heroism.

The theme of ‘War Poetry’

Randall Jarrell coined the term in his essay “The Literature of War.” Jarrell defines war poetry as a poem that has its theme of war and is written during or about war.

◽ The loss of innocence
◽ Brotherhood and Relationship
◽ The Horror of War
◽ Disillusionment with Religion
◽ Destruction of Nature
◽ Irrationality of War
◽ Emotional and Feelings

Purpose of ‘War Poetry’

◽ Poetry is the best way to express someone’s emotion and expression during the war.
◽ Another main reason for writing war poetry is to show the true picture of the war.
◽ It creates a sense of honor.

Characteristics of War Poetry

◽ It uses gruesome and showing imagery.
◽ It signed a break-off from the contemporary poetic tradition.
◽ Realistic document of war with all its brutality.

World War 1
World War 1

most prominent Anti-War poets

The war poets used poetry as a way of expressing their feelings and opinions about the war. They also questioned the authority and morality of those who started and continued the war.

There is a list of the most prominent Anti-War poets, who were involved directly in the war and eye-witnessed to see the brutality in the name of National pride on the battlefield:

◽ Wilfred Owen
◽ Siegfried Sassoon
◽ Robert Graves
◽ Issac Rosenberg
◽ Rupert Brooke
◽ Edward Thomas

Wilfred Owen ( 1893 – 1918 )

Owen was one of the most prominent Anti-War poets during the First World War as well as a soldier. He wrote only five poems published in his Lifetime but the most important poems are published posthumously. Futility, Strange Meeting, Anthem for Doomed Youth, Dulce et Decorum Est, and Insensibility are his most important poem. In his poem, he showed the terror of trenches, the pitiful shadow of soldiers’ lives. He wrote about War poems in the preface to the Edition:

“This book is not about heroes.  
Nor is it about deeds or lands
nor anything about glory, honour
might, majesty, dominion, or power, except war.
My subject is war, and the pity of war.”

Siegfried Sassoon (1886 – 1967 )

War poetry is not complete without the work of ‘Siegfried Sasson’ who was awarded the Queen’s Medal for poetry in 1957. He was not only a poet but also a soldier. He shook the literary world to write his angry and compassionate poems about First World War. Sassoon wrote of the horror and brutality of trench warfare and ironically criticized those men who were blind supporters of a brutal war. The Hero, Counter-Attack, The Death Bed, Attack, Memorial Tablet, Banishmen, and The Last Meeting are the most important poems written by him. He wrote in his poem ‘Trench Duty’ about the extreme situation of the soldiers.

Robert Graves (1895 – 1985 )

Robert Graves was a great British writer, poet, and novelist. He served as a captain in the First World War. He was a good friend of Siegfried Sasson. He was badly wounded in the First world war and reported dead but he returns a few months later. Among his world-famous war poem include “Goodbye to All That” and “The White Goddess”.

Issac Rosenberg (1890 – 1918 )

Rosenberg is known for his “Trench Poem” written between 1916 and 1918. He was only 28 when he died. He was killed while fighting in the First World War. Among his world-famous war poems included ‘Break of Day in the Trenches’, ‘Dead Man’s Dump’, ‘In the Trenches’ and ‘On Receiving News of the War.’

Rupert Brooke ( 1887 – 1915 )

Brooke was an English poet known for his Idealistic war sonnets written during the first world war, especially The Soldier. He was also known for his good look.  W. B. Yeats described him as ‘The most handsome young man in England’. The Great, The Dead, Lover, Heaven, Peace, and Cloud Safety are his most prominent poem.

Edward Thomas ( 1878 – 1917 )

He is commonly considered a war poet. His poem ‘The Pity of the War to Aftermath’ reflects his changing attitude to the war. His most prominent poems are Owl When First, The Owl is a poem which shows the mental depression, grief, disgust, and panic of the brutal war.

The war poets had profoundly impacted the literary and cultural landscape of their time and beyond. Their poems challenged the prevailing attitudes and propaganda about war and revealed its true nature and consequences. Their poems also influenced the development of modernism and realism in literature and art. Their poems also inspired generations of readers and writers who faced or witnessed other wars and conflicts in the 20th and 21st centuries.


The war has been transmitted in the poetry and so the realistic atmosphere of deadly warfare and the bloodshed on the battlefield but the eyewitness soldier-poets. The poets mentioned above contributed a lot to the development of War poetry. Some other minor war poets are I would get Kingsley Aims, John Beaching, Sydney Keys, and Vere Britain. War poetry contributed a lot to the development of the history of English literature.

War poetry is a powerful and enduring form of expression that can help us understand and empathize with the human condition in times of war. War poetry can also help us question and critique the causes and effects of war and violence. War poetry can also help us hope and strive for peace and justice in our world.

Related Topic: Suicide In The Trenches
Indo-European Language

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