the middle ages (1066-1485)

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The Middle Ages (1066-1485). By Rachele Dess and Simone Giuffrida. - The Historical Background - Medieval Literature. The Normans. With William the Conqueror starts the permanent Norman occupation of England. The Normans spoke French but originally came from Denmark . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The Middle Ages (1066-1485)

Siege of a motte-and-bailey castle from the Bayeux Tapestry.The NormansWith William the Conqueror starts the permanent Norman occupation of England. The Normans spoke French but originally came from Denmark.

Many of the Anglo-Saxons nobles tried to oppose the predominance of the Norman aristocracy, but by the 12th century, all land was completely in the hands of the Normans.

After an initial period of conflict they eventually began to mix through marriage and languages and traditions.

The BalladBallads were short narrative poems often accompanied by music.

Ballads were generally simple and characterized by the presence of: Four lines stanzas A refrain or a chorus

Main themes:- Tragic death - Love- War

The feudal system

The Domesday BookThe Domesday Book, completed in one year (1086), is the first census in English history. A page of the Domesday Book for Warwickshire.

ReformsUnder Henry II, who was the first Plantagenet, the Constitutions of Clarendon were enforced (1164) which led to a clash between the State and the Church.With this set of legislative procedures the king wanted to establish a compromise between these two powers.

King Henry II and a stained glass window of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.Richard the Lion Heart and King JohnHenry II was followed by his son Richard I who spent almost ten years abroad engaged in various wars.

In his absence , his younger brother John became king.

On returning from one of his campaigns in France, he was forced to sign a document, the Magna Carta.

This document limited the absolute power of the king.

The Hundred Years WarEdward III went to war against France but this war was interrupted by the Black Death (1348).

The war came to an end in 1453 but by then England had lost all of its French possessions except Calais.

In the course of the Hundred Years War the Anglo-Norman aristocracy came to consider itself truly English. The Triumph of Death, oil panel painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted c. 1562.[John WycliffeIn the second half of the 14th century John Wycliffe led a protest against the Church, accusing it of excessive wealth and corruption.Many of the supporters of his movement were persecuted and burnt as heretics.They can be seen as the forerunners of the Protestant movement.

Wycliffe speaking to Lollard preachersThe Wars of the RosesThe long war was over but there was still no peace to be had in England. The House of Lancaster and the House of York started the Wars of the Roses. It was a negative period for England as trade and industry were stagnant and Parliament was weakened by corruption. At the end Henry Tudor won esabilishing a future for the powerful dynasty of the Tudors.

Choosing the Red and White Roses (c.1908), Henry A. Payne.Geoffrey ChaucerPortrait of Geoffrey ChaucerGeoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), the most notable of English poets from the Middle Ages, created a great and original work enriched by his great spirit of observation and narrative technique: The Canterbury Tales.12The rise of the theatre

In England, as in the rest of Europe, dramatic performance originates from religious dramatisation. Originally the dramas were in Latin.The subjects were mainly religious, but gradually they became independent from the liturgy.The most important characteristics of the English romance were:

-the authors were mostly anonymous

-the story is centered around a hero

-chivalric ideology is predominant -the setting is often vague and includes elements of fantasy and the supernatural.The RomanceKing Arthur and the knights of the Round TableThe stories which centre about King Arthur, started in Wales and are dated back to the 5th century. There are a lot of versions and stories about the figure of King Arthur and in all of these, the number of the knights of the round table changes.Arthur as one of the Nine Worthies, c.1385


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