Tolkien Gateway

Middle English

"...there is much else that may be told." — Glóin
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Middle English is the name given by historical linguists to the diverse forms of the English language in use between the late 11th century and about 1470, though scholars disagree as to the exact dating of this period. Often abbreviated to M.E., this form of the English language grew out of Old English and later transformed into Early Modern English (the language of Shakespeare). As the language became standardised in the mid-to-late eighteenth century Modern English was born.

Among J.R.R. Tolkien's writings related to Middle English, we find Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, A Middle English Vocabulary, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo, the essays Ancrene Wisse and Hali Meiðhad and Middle English 'Losenger', and the poem "The Clerkes Compleinte".

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