the canterbury tales by geoffrey chaucer. the medieval period a.d. 1066-1485

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  • The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer
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  • The Medieval Period A.D. 1066-1485
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  • The Norman Conquest After conquering the Anglo-Saxons in 1066, William of Normandy began to fuse the Anglo-Saxon culture with his own. The Normans (or north men) were originally Viking raiders from Northern Europe, who settled in the northern- coastal region of France known as Normandy.
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  • The Norman Conquest William introduced many French customs and traditions to England. This was the beginning of the Medieval (or middle) period in England. The biggest change that William introduced was feudalism the concept that the king owned all the land in the kingdom.
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  • The Medieval Period As a part of the new feudalism, William kept one quarter of the land for himself. The remainder of the land in England he divided amongst the church and nobles. Many of these nobles were Norman barons, who either paid William for the land, or supplied him with warriors called knights.
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  • The Medieval Period With these barons and knights came a new social ladder, as follows: The King The Barons The Knights Peasants and Serfs (those bound to land they could not own). Many of these were Anglo-Saxons.
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  • The Medieval Period William was succeeded by Henry I, his son. His grandson, Henry II, would follow as the next king of England. Henry II reformed England, creating a judicial system and English common law based on old practices. Henry IIs wife, Eleanor, introduced the Code of Chivalry, based on French ideals.
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  • The Code of Chivalry Chivalry was a code meant to govern the conduct and behavior of knights. Chivalry encouraged knights to honor and protect ladies and to go on holy quests, such as the Crusades.
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  • Have you heard of Robin Hood? Henry II was succeeded by his son Richard I otherwise known as Richard the Lion- Hearted. While Richard I fought in the Crusades, his brother, John plotted against him. These are the same figures that are popular in the Robin Hood lengends. After Richards death, the royal treasury was bankrupt. John was forced to sign the Magna Carta, limiting royal authority by giving more power to the barons.
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  • The Medieval Period King John was succeeded by Henry III. Henry III established Parliament as a governing body of barons. Henrys son, Edward I, modified Parliament in 1295, allowing commoners to be included, thus making Parliament a truly representative body of the people of England.
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  • The Medieval Period As the Crusades continued, England began to become a center of trade and commerce. Feudalism began to decline as a result of the economical changes. Education became a focus in England as cities developed; universities such as Oxford flourished.
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  • The Fall of the Medieval Period As Edward III was king of England, the Hundred Years War began. England also endured the plague known as the Black Death, which killed one third of the nations population. In 1453, the Hundred Years War finally ended England had lost nearly all of its French possessions.
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  • The Fall of the Medieval Period Around the end of the war, a struggle for power began between the House of York (represented by a white rose) and the House of Lancaster (represented by a red rose). The War of Roses ended in 1485, when Lancasters Henry Tudor killed the Yorkist king, Richard II. Henry took the throne as Henry VII, ending the Middle Ages.
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  • Geoffrey Chaucer
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  • Chaucers Life Chaucer was born sometime between 1340 and 1343 Born probably in London, England His family was not noble, but were well off Parents worked in the wine and leather trade
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  • Chaucers Life He was placed as an attendant for the wife of Prince Lionel, son of King Edward III (right) Here he learned the customs of upper-class life Chaucer met Lionels brother, John of Gaunt, a lifelong patron (left)
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  • Chaucer in the Military He fought in the Hundred Years War against the French He was captured during the siege of Rheims The king himself contributed to Chaucers ransom
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  • Chaucers Life Chaucer then served as a royal messenger His royal contacts helped establish his future life He married Philippa, a lady in waiting to the queen He was appointed comptroller of customs for London in 1374
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  • Chaucers Life Chaucer continued his political career under several kings Richard II (1377) (left) Henry IV (1399) son of John of Gaunt (right)
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  • Chaucers Death Chaucer dies in 1400 Buried in Westminster Abbey This was a rare honor for a commoner
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  • Chaucers Tomb In 1566, an admirer built an elaborate marble tomb for Chaucers remains This began the Poets Corner of Westminster Abbey Many famous English writers would later be buried there
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  • The Poets Corner "The communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living Epitaph on the memorial to T.S.Eliot.
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  • The Poets Corner
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  • Other Writers in the Poets Corner Several authors have been buried in the Poets Corner of Westminster Abbey since Geoffrey Chaucer, including: Edmund Spencer, John Dryden, Tennyson, Robert Browning and John Masefield. Many writers, including William Camden, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy
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  • Poets Corner Memorials The following writers are not buried in Westminster Abbey, but have memorials placed in the Poets Corner: William Shakespeare, John Milton, William Wordsworth, Thomas Gray, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Burns, William Blake, T.S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Samuel Butler, Jane Austen, Oliver Goldsmith, Sir Walter Scott, John Ruskin, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, Henry James and Sir John Betjeman
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  • Chaucers Inspirations Chaucer had heavy influence from French and Italian Literature Italian Influences Dante Alighieri Petrarch Boccaccio
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  • Chaucers Writing The Romance of the Rose Chaucers first major writing effort A famous medieval French romance The Book of the Duchess Chaucers first important original work Tribute to Blanche, John of Gaunts wife She died of the plague in 1369 The House of Fame A humorous narrative about the instability of renown
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  • The Canterbury Tales A collection of verse and prose tales The stories are joined by pretending to be told by travelers journeying from London to Canterbury. Scholars speculate he began planning The Canterbury Tales in 1387. The Canterbury Tales were unfinished at Chaucers death He had already penned nearly 20,000 lines Many more tales were planned Chaucer portrayed himself in the Canterbury tales A short, plump, slightly foolish pilgrim Commanded no great respect
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  • The Canterbury Tales
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  • The Tales The Canterbury Tales are the stories told by a group of pilgrims traveling from the Tabard Inn in London to visit Saint Thomas Beckets Shrine at Canterbury Cathedral.
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  • Poetry versus Prose Most of The Canterbury Tales are composed in verse, or poetry. However, two of the tales are told in prose, or short story-style writing.
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  • Chaucers Poetry The Canterbury Tales are written in Iambic Pentameter. Iambs are poetic feet that are an unstressed syllable, followed by a stressed syllable. An example would be: Come live/with me/my Love Pentameter is a line of poetry with five metrical feet.
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  • The Tales The Canterbury Tales are told in a Frame Narrative. This means that the main story is written to organize several smaller stories within the work. Essentially, the main story frames the tales of the travelers within.
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  • The Tales The Tales are made up of the stories of several pilgrims traveling to Canterbury. These pilgrims make up both upper and lower class, and include members from all walks of life. Some examples: A monk, a pardoner, a sailor, a miller, a carpenter, and a knight, as well as the Wife of Bath
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  • The Tales The travelers, to help pass the time of their journey, agree to tell four stories each. Two on the way to Canterbury, and two on the return voyage. At the end of they journey, the best story, judged by the host, will earn its teller a free meal, courtesy the rest of the pilgrims.
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  • The Tales The Knight begins the story-telling, and the stories continue on the trip to Canterbury. However, in the end, no winner is chosen, and the stories are never finished.
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  • The Tales The tales themselves vary in nature. Some of the pilgrims tell tales that represent their social position. Others tell stories to make fun of others in the group.
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  • The Tales At the end of The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer wrote a retraction. Th


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