the middle ages a.k.a. the medieval period a.d. 1066-1485
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The Middle Agesa.k.a. The Medieval PeriodA.D. 1066-1485
Battle of Hastings
Harold of Wessex claims the throne, which should have gone to Duke William of Normandy. William reclaims what is rightfully his and takes over the countryand so begins the Middle Ages!
FeudalismAfter 1066, the Normans brought their social system, known as feudalism, to the Anglo-Saxons.
Under the system of feudalism, English society was developed into a clear hierarchy.
The Feudal Hierarchy
The Domesday Book
Then: The Domesday book reinforced the feudal hierarchy because it was used to determine:taxesfeudal rightsfeudal duties
Today: It provides specific historical facts and details concerning medieval estates and landowners, thus giving historians a view into the day-to-day material life of medieval England.
Chivalryis it really dead?The code of chivalry was central to Medieval society.
ChivalryKnights pledged: To be loyal to their lordsTo honor womenTo protect the weakTo right injustices and wrongsTo defend the Christian faith
* Note: The chivalric code raised the role of women in medieval society, but, in reality, it was more professed than acted. It did, though, lessen the harshness of life during this period in history.
Conflict and PlagueThe CrusadesThe Magna CartaThe Black DeathThe Rise of CitiesThe Hundred Years War
What do these five events have in common?
Answer: All five events WEAKENED the feudal system:
The Crusades: FINANCING-- heavy taxes hurt the wealthy; sold privileges of self-government to towns The Magna Carta: limited the power of the king and protected the rights of citizensThe Black Death: 1/3 population diesThe Rise of Cities: serfs escape feudal lords and go to cities; wages rise because of the labor shortage higher wages for workers and lower income for landlords (shift in feudal structure)The Hundred Years War: invention of weaponry weakens positions of knights and castles
The Hundred Years WarPositively impacted England becauseThe break with France helped England develop its own identityEnglish became the language of the nobility and the courts.
Literature of the Medieval PeriodFlourishes because more people speak English (vs. French & Latindisappearing as feudal system becomes obsolete)Alliterative verse is replaced by French style of end-rhyme (ballads)Invention of the printing press increases literacy/more works published and read
Anglo-Saxon Herov. Medieval HeroAnglo-SaxonMedievalSuperhuman strengthLoyalty to kinsman and king makes hero a better personPerfect
Feelings and weaknessesLove for an idealized woman makes hero a better person (courtly love)RealAdmirableLoyalWillingness to fight
Languages of the Medieval PeriodIn legal trouble and need to defend yourself?In love with a woman of noble birth and needed to speak with her family?
You need FRENCH!
In dealing with the nobility or the courts, a person would need to know the French language.
Languages of the Medieval PeriodWant to engage in a theological debate?Want to pursue a formal study of literature?
You need LATIN!
One needed to know Latin in communications relating to the church, business, or scholarship.
Languages of the Medieval PeriodWant to tell a joke to your next door neighbors?Want to give your condolences to a family that just lost three sons to the plague?
You need ENGLISH!
English was used to communicate with the majority of the common people.
Middle English(Anglo-Saxon Period: Old English)Medieval Period: Middle English
During the Medieval period, the English language was strongly influenced by the French language. Grammar and spelling became more simplified and more similar to the language we use today.
Middle EnglishWhan that Aprille with his shoores sooteWan thot A'prill with his sure-es so-tuh
The drought of March hath perced to the rooteThe drewgt of March hath pear-said to the row-tuh
And bathed every vein in swich liquorAnd ba-thed every vane in sweech lee-coor
Of which vertu engendred is the flourOf wheech ver-too en-jen-dred is the flu-er
The Canterbury TalesIn The Canterbury Tales, a group of pilgrims go on a journey to visit the shrine dedicated to Thomas Becket.
Thomas a BecketArchbishop of CanterburyOpposed the kings efforts to establish royal rights over the church (church v. state)King Henry, displeased by Beckets opposition, said will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?Taking Henrys words literally, four knights murdered Becket while he was praying in Canterbury Cathedral.
BALLADSBallad: rhymed verse that was recited or sung for the purpose of entertainmentThemes: Murderous acts and the desire for revengeTragic accidents and sudden disastersHeroic deeds motivated by the quest for honorJealous sweethearts and unrequited love
BALLADSDramatization of a single incidentLittle reflection or expression of sentimentDialogue (or questions and answers) that further the story/advance the plotA strong, simple beat and uncomplicated rhyme scheme
BalladsUse of the refrain, a regularly repeated line or phrase at the end of a stanzaA tendency to suggest rather than directly stateStories that were often based on actual events
Welcome to the Medieval Unit of British Literature!