The Influence of External Forces on Middle English Period in Britain Essay

The Influence of External Forces on Middle English Period in Britain Essay

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The Middle English period in Britain was one characterized by a variety of external forces, which help define and shape the English language into its modern day form. According to Spielvogel, “the urban centres and the urban population of Europe were experiencing a dramatic expansion” and “new forms of cultural and intellectual expression also arose in this new urban world” (185). With this new jest for life, the people Britain and Europe during the Medieval period were fueled with desire to trade, and expand their territory. The two major, most influential contributing factors that shaped the development of the Middle English language were the lasting implications of the French language that were brought to England with the conquest William the first, and the devastation to the population that the Black death of the fourteenth century brought to England. Thanks to these two lingering influences the English language was allowed to regain its status as the official language of the country.
During the eleventh century the Old English period brought to an end with the invasion of William the first in the year of 1066. Due to this invasion from France, and the established rule of the new French King, the period Old English was brought to an end, and the French language began its dominant rule over the English language. Although the French language appeared to have dismissed the English language altogether, it had in fact infused the English language with new components, helping to enrich the language into its Middle English form. English was now a language connected to the continent, thanks to the invasion of the new French monarch, the language would continue to be influenced by many dialects. Spielvogel notes that because of the ...


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... Middle English was a language that was constantly being influenced by external factors. Interestingly, the prevailing of the Middle English language was thanks to the deaths caused by invasion and plague over the course of the High Middle Ages. By the end of the Middle English period the English language had been almost forgotten, then enriched by other prevailing dialects, and finally revived into a new form, and put back to its place of authority as the recognised official language of England. However lengthy the development of Middle English was, its journey was accomplished thanks to titanic external forces of invasion and plague.



Works Cited

Fennell, Barbara A. A History of English A Sociolinguistic Approach. 17. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2001. Print.
Jackson J., Spielvogel. Western Civilization. 8th. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning , 2014. Print.

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