Presentation on theme: "SOCIETY, HISTORY AND LITERATURE"— Presentation transcript:
1SOCIETY, HISTORY AND LITERATURE MIDDLE ENGLISHSOCIETY, HISTORY AND LITERATURE
2THE MIDDLE AGES 700 1485 449 597 A.D. 11th century Anglo Saxon / THE ORIGINSTHE DARK AGES11thcenturyTHE MIDDLE AGESAnglo Saxon /Old _EnglishAnglo Norman /Middle _English700INVASIONS:Jutes from Denmark,Angles, Saxons from Northern GermanyIberiansCeltsA. C. Romans1485TUDORSbeginto rule overEngland597 A.D.A.D.Battle of Hastings: the Normans invade EnglandSaint Augustine’s mission.Christianity spreads throughout EnglandPLANTAGENETS:Baronial revoltsMagna ChartaThe ParliamentThe hundred years warPeasants revoltThe wars of the rosesCeltic people escape to Cornwall, Wales and ScotlandFEUDALISMDRAMAPOETRYNARRATIVE POEMEPIC POEM
3FEUDALISMIt was a method of organizing society introduced in England by Normans in 1066The term derives from the French word “feu”= “fee” and means:LAND HELD IN EXCHANGE FOR DUTY OR SERVICE TO A LORDThe KING was THE OWNER OF ALL LANDOther noblemen, called VASSALS, held a portion of the land IN RETURN FOR GOODS AND SERVICES especially MILITARY SERVICE UP TO 40 DAYS a yearThe chief vassals, called BARONS, in turn, created other vassals, the KNIGHTS and VILLAINS OWING SERVICE TO THEMVILLAINS were FREE BUT ATTACHED ON THE LAND on which they were bornVILLAINS’ (or PEASANTS) service was in the form of work on the lord’s farmKNIGHTS gave military service to their lord in exchange for his landSERFS were almost slavesHOMAGE was the promise that all men had to do to their lord kneeling before him with their hands between those of the lordBARONS lived in MANORS retaining some ARABLE LAND for themselves (their DEMESNE)Strips of the remaining land were allocated to the peasantsMeadows and waste lands were common to all and formed the so called COMMON FIELDS that were used for pasture
4Serfdom in the Middle Ages During the Middle Ages in Europe, which historians date from about the 5th century to the 15th century AD, peasants became legally bound to live and work in one place in servitude to wealthy landowners. In return for working the land of the owner, known as the lord, these peasants, called serfs, received a crude house, a small adjoining plot of ground, a share of the surrounding fields, some farm animals, and protection from outlaws and other lords. The serf gave part of his own crop to the lord as payment of rent and was subject to many other payment obligations and taxes. Serfdom differed from slavery because serfs had the right to own property, could not be sold, and could theoretically purchase their freedom from their lords.
5Feudal Manor Cultivation During the feudal period, people lived in self- contained communities, producing their own food and clothing. A typical English manor used a three-field system of cultivation, with each section divided into individual strips. In this system, the uses of the sections were rotated periodically, with one field resting, or lying fallow each time, so that the land did not become nutrient poor.
6NORMAN KINGS 1066 – 1154 William I 1066-1087 William II 1087-1100 The feudal system was introducedImportant administrative and judicial reforms were madeBarons and knights acquired great importanceDomsday bookThe relationship with the Church was business-likeNORMAN KINGS – 1154William IWilliam IIHenry IStephen
7Richard I (Lion heart) 1189-1199 John(Lack land) 1199-1216 Henry I’s daughter, Matilda, married Geoffrey Plantagenet of Anjou who became king as Henry IIHe restored order, brought stability reducing the power of the barons and of the Church:professional soldiers (scutage tax)Travelling judges to hold assizes or courts according to Common LawTrial by jury instead of trial by ordealConstitution of Clarendon (1164) (bishops investing, clergymen trial)T. Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in 1170Third CrusadeMagna ChartaBaronial revoltsThe rise of ParliamentChivalryHundred years war ( )LollardyPolltaxPeasants' revolt 1381HOUSE OF PLANTAGENETHenry IIRichard I (Lion heart)John(Lack land)Henry IIIEdward IEdward IIEdward IIIRichard II
8HOUSE OF LANCASTER 1399- 1485 Henry IV 1399-1413 Henry V 1413-1422 Hundred years war (Agincourt 1415)Joan of ArcEaton, CambridgeWars of the RosesHOUSE OF LANCASTERHenry IVHenry VHenry VI
9HOUSE OF YORK 1461 - 1485 Edward IV 1461-1483 Edward V 1483 Wars of the Roses and the end of FeudalismHOUSE OF YORKEdward IVEdward VRichard III
10NORMAN KINGS – 1154William IWilliam IIHenry IStephenThe feudal system was introducedBarons and knights acquired great importanceWilliam I sent his men to make a complete survey of the economic life of the country so he had information about the levying of a property tax and a detailed knowledge of the extent and distribution of his wealth, lands and revenues (Domsday book)For us the Domsday book is very important in that it affords a comprehensive picture of the social structure of England at that timeThe relationship with the Church was business-likeWilliam paid his annual tax to the Pope (Peter’s pence)He separated the fields of clerical and lay justice removing religious cases to special ecclesiastical courtsThe gap between the conquered Anglo-Saxons and the conquering Normans slowly decreased.The sign of reconciliation was the marriage between Henry I and Edith the offspring of the Wessex kings
11Richard I (Lion heart) 1189-1199 John(Lack land) 1199-1216 HOUSE OF PLANTAGENETHenry IIRichard I (Lion heart)John(Lack land)Henry IIIEdward IEdward IIEdward IIIRichard IIHenry I’s daughter, Matilda, married Geoffrey Plantagenet of Anjou who became king as Henry IIRestored order, brought stability reducing the power of the barons and of the Church:He engaged professional soldiers (scutage tax)He sent Travelling judges to hold assizes or courts according to Common LawTrial by jury was provided instead of trial by ordealThe Constitution of Clarendon was issued in1164 (The king claimed considerable authority in investing the bishops. Clergymen were tried also by a civil court for serious crimes)T. Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury,was murdered in 1170
12Richard I (Lion heart) 1189-1199 John(Lack land) 1199-1216 HOUSE OF PLANTAGENETHenry IIRichard I (Lion heart)John(Lack land)Henry IIIEdward IEdward IIEdward IIIRichard IIRICHARD I Lion heartThird Crusade ( ): it had heavy costs but increased both intellectual and commercial exchanges with Asia
13Richard I (Lion heart) 1189-1199 John(Lack land) 1199-1216 HOUSE OF PLANTAGENETHenry IIRichard I (Lion heart)John(Lack land)Henry IIIEdward IEdward IIEdward IIIRichard IIMAGNA CHARTA“…No taxes shall be demanded in our realm without the consent of the great council […] No free man shall be arrested, put in prison or lose his property, or be outlawed or banished, or harmed in any way […] unless he has been judged by his equals under the law of the landJOHN (LACKLAND)Levied higher taxes to defend his French possessions. This annoyedBarons, Church and merchants who compelled him to sign the Magna ChartaMAGNA CHARTA is the first step towards the constitutional Monarchy as it asserts kingship checked by acceptance of the restraint of law
14Richard I (Lion heart) 1189-1199 John(Lack land) 1199-1216 HOUSE OF PLANTAGENETHenry IIRichard I (Lion heart)John(Lack land)Henry IIIEdward IEdward IIEdward IIIRichard IIHenry III became king at the age of 9 and Britain was governed by a group of barons until he grew up.Starting in 1158 Simon De Montfort, Earl of Leicester, led a baronial revolt against the king to create a structure of permanent control over the king’s policy.In 1256 he called a Parliament (barons, Knights and, FOR THE FIRST TIME, 2 REPRESENTATIVES FROM EACH “BOROUGH OR TOWN
15Richard I (Lion heart) 1189-1199 John(Lack land) 1199-1216 HOUSE OF PLANTAGENETHenry IIRichard I (Lion heart)John(Lack land)Henry IIIEdward IEdward IIEdward IIIRichard IIEDWARD I in 1295 called the Model Parliament (representatives of the barons, the clergy, two knights from each county and two citizens from each town)
16Richard I (Lion heart) 1189-1199 John(Lack land) 1199-1216 HOUSE OF PLANTAGENETHenry IIRichard I (Lion heart)John(Lack land)Henry IIIEdward IEdward IIEdward IIIRichard IIEDWARD IIISince in the Middle Ages success in battle was the principal source for the power of the king, he introduced the idea of chivalry a name given to a set of values (bravery, loyalty, honesty, and glory) which the perfect knight had to respect (cycle of Arthurian legends)He also founded the “Order of Garter” (24 knights)In 1337 he laid claim to the Crown of France on the grounds that his mother was the French king’s sister (Philip VI Valois) starting so the HUNDRED YEARS WARThe real reason for the Hundred years war was that the French were threatening Flanders, the chief market for English wood.This war received a severe check for theBLACK DEATH 1348 (bubonic plague) which carried off a third of populationLOLLARDY (J.WYCLIFFE) spread over. It was a religious reformist movement which attacked the power and worldliness of Church
17Richard I (Lion heart) 1189-1199 John(Lack land) 1199-1216 HOUSE OF PLANTAGENETHenry IIRichard I (Lion heart)John(Lack land)Henry IIIEdward IEdward IIEdward IIIRichard IIRICHARD II was only 10 when he became king and a council of noblemen governed the kingdom. The first Parliament of the reign decided to levy aPolltax (4 pence from each lay person of either sex over 14 except for beggars and 12 pence from all members of the religious orders) It was the first time that a government tax had fallen equally on the mass of the population rather than on the richer part. This created great discontent which together withThe results of Black Death upon the economy and the labourersThe feudal pressure in a society with new bourgeois elementsEcclesiastic wealth. Worldliness and abuse of powerbrought to a PEASANTS’ REVOLT 1381Having no children, Richard was compelled by his barons to abdicate and his cousin, the Duke of Lancaster, became King as Henry VI
18HOUSE OF LANCASTER 1399- 1485 Henry IV 1399-1413 Henry V 1413-1422 Henry VIHENRY V’s main interest was fighting so he resumed the Hundred years war and led England to the victory of Agincourt (1415)HENRY VI was book-loving and he founded the 2 colleges at Eton and CambridgeThe wave of French patriotism revived with Joan of Arc ( ) and English were forced to withdraw to CalaisTe Wars of the Roses ( ) started between the 2 rival families of Lancaster and YorkIn 1461 Henry was confined to the Tower by the son of the Duke of York who seized the throne as Edward IV
19HOUSE OF YORK 1461 - 1485 Edward IV 1461-1483 Edward V 1483 Edward IV and V were imprisoned in the Tower by their uncle Richard Duke of GloucesterHOUSE OF YORKEdward IVEdward VRichard IIIRichard III was disliked both by the Lancastrians and the Yorkists as he was suspected for the murder of his nephewsHenry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, leader of the Lancastrians, raised an army and defeated Richard.He sized the throne as Henry VII TudorThe Wars of the Roses stuck a heavy blow to the power of the barons as many of the oldest and strongest families were wiped out and the ideas of chivalry and feudal service faded into the past
22NEW PHASE OF THE MIDDLE AGES WITH A HIGHER LIVING STANDARD ENGLISH SOCIETY IN THE 14th AND 15th CENTURIESNEW PHASE OF THE MIDDLE AGES WITH A HIGHER LIVING STANDARD14th CENTURYThe new middle classes, rural and urban, appeared upon the political, economic, social, religious, and literary scenesPRINCIPAL FACTORS:WARRISE OF MERCHANTS:ENCLOSURESRISE OF MINOR ARISTOCRACYFORMATION OF THE “GENTRY”BIRTH OF YEOMENWAR offered the middle levels of nobility the opportunity to make fortunesAny king who refused to go to war against France or to organize crusades would lose prestigeThe king needed barons’ armiesThe king had to turn to merchant financiers in order to get more money to wage warRISE OF MERCHANTS:Counsellors of the king upon whom land, titles and power were conferred thing that led to the creation of a mercantile nobilityRISE OF MINOR ARISTOCRACYENCLOSURESthe system of open fields was breaking down and farmers were enclosing more and more fields with edges“GENTRY”(free landholders)(called Franklins)
23NEW PHASE OF THE MIDDLE AGES WITH A HIGHER LIVING STANDARD ENGLISH SOCIETY IN THE 14th AND 15th CENTURIESNEW PHASE OF THE MIDDLE AGES WITH A HIGHER LIVING STANDARD14th CENTURYThe new middle classes, rural and urban, appeared upon the political, economic, social, religious, and literary scenesPRINCIPAL FACTORS:WARRISE OF MERCHANTS:ENCLOSURESRISE OF MINOR ARISTOCRACYFORMATION OF THE “GENTRY”BIRTH OF YEOMENGUILDS were associations of artisans that controlled:Quality of goodsPricesWagesRules concerning apprenticeshipThey organised also fairsPrepared biblical plays to be performedGUILDS DEVELOPPED INTO TRADING COMPABIESIn 1477 WILLIAM CAXTON SET UP THE FIRST ENGLISH PRINTING PRESSIn a short time England would be exposed to the ferment of ideas of Italian RenaissanceYEOMEN: peasant artisans and tradesmen who lived near or near the town and worked the land and, at the same time, sold the objects he made with his hands.They used the money made in trade to enlarge their holdings in lands so that they became members of the gentryANTICLERICALISMSlackness of monastic ordersFeudal monasteries lent money at interest and warded orphans to their own advantageWealth and inconsistent behaviour of ClergyLollardy (J. Wycliffe)
24CULTURAL CONTEXT IN THE 14th AND 15th CENTURIES NORMAN CONQUEST INVASION AND FUSION PROCESS1066CHIVALRY and a new code of conductFRANCE as outside dominant outside influence for at least 4 centuriesTrue courtesyHonourGenerosityTruthOLD PAGAN VALUES:ValourPhysical strengthMAIN CONSEQUENCES:LanguageChivalryRomances of chivalry and lovePoetryROMANCES of chivalry and loveKnightHis lord’s wife or a noblewomanUnhappy loveFaithfulnessNoble deeds inspired by loveCHURCH:Preservation and transmission of cultureMonasteries as centres of learning and artsGreat cathedrals (Winchester, Lincoln, Durham, Salisbury, Canterbury, Gloucester) as centres of the communal life of the cityPOPULAR TRADITION:mystery, morality playsballads, carolsBRITISH ART:illuminated manuscriptsreligious architecture (Norman and Gothic cathedrals)Music (Chapel Royal, John Dunstable)
25Anglo Norman Period: principal focuses Anglo Norman Period: principal focuses1 - The MONARCHY, starting from Henry II ( ) tries to build up a system of administrative control over the kingdom and establish a centralised judicial organizationProfessional soldiers and reduction of power of the barons.Scutage tax instead of service for kingsTravelling judjes and Common law (custom, comparisons, previous cases and decisions)Trial by jury instead of trial by ordeal. Reduction of the power of the ChurchConstitution of Clarendon 1164 (the king claims considerable authority in investing the Bishops)Edward III ( ) introduces the idea of CHIVALRY. The order of the GARTER is foundedRichard II ( ) POLLTAX (4 pence from each lay person of either sex over 14 except for beggars and 12 pence from all members of the religious orders except mendicant friars). The earnings from this tax were used to pay the debts deriving from the war against France and to reinforce the navy
26Anglo Norman Period: Principal focuses Anglo Norman Period: Principal focuses2 -The CHURCH acquires a new strength and controls money, land and menBishops represent Pope but are also great landownersPeriod of conflict between State and Church over spheres of powerLay investitureEcclesiastical officeEcclesiastical privileges in the courts of justice (Constitution of Clarendon 1164)T. Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is murdered in 11703 - The BARONS, allied with the church and then with the rising merchant class, try and succeed in asserting their rights with respect to the power of the King1215 Magna Charta, the first step towards Constitutional Monarchy1258 baronial revolt to create a structure of permanent control over the king’s policyDe Montfort earl of Leicester calls the first meeting of the Parliament (barons, knights and 2 representatives from each town)1295 Model Parliament is called by Edward I (representatives of the barons, the clergy, two knights from each county and two citizens from each town)
27Anglo Norman Period and Christianity Anglo Norman Period and ChristianityPreservation and transmission of cultureMonasteries as centres of learning and of artsGreat cathedrals (Winchester, Salisbury, Canterbury, Gloucester….) as centres of communal life of the city
28MIDDLE ENGLISH (1100-1450) ANGLO-SAXON Warfare Hunting Falconry Law Middle English lost almost all of the Anglo Saxons inflections. Of the old noun declensions remained:The “s” ending for the plural of the nounsGenitive singularThe definite article “the” and adjectives became indeclinableThe “to” form for infinitives started to be usedRULING CLASSES AND ARISTORCRACY:NORMAN-FRENCHCONQUERED:ANGLO-SAXON LANGUAGECHURCH, SCHOLARS:LATINFor 2 centuries after the conquestFRENCHLATINANGLO-SAXONVocabulary was enriched with new words borrowed directly from FRENCHWarfareHuntingFalconryLawSciencecourtesyNORTHERN
29MIDDLE ENGLISH ( )By the 14th century Middle English was used in:SchoolsLaw courtsG. Chaucer used Middle English for his Canterbury Tales so gaining the name of father of the English languageMIDDLE ENGLISH was a uniform language and its dialects were divided into four groupsMiddle English lost almost all of the Anglo Saxons inflections. Of the old noun declensions remained:The “s” ending for the plural of the nounsGenitive singularThe definite article “the” and adjectives became indeclinableThe “to” form for infinitives started to be usedNORTHERNEAST MIDLANDWEST MIDLANDThis group became the most important and it was called “king’s English” as it was spoken in a vast area including LondonSOUTHERN
30Anglo Saxon Period and Christianity Anglo Saxon Period and ChristianityFusion into a single native tradition of two alien imported components: the language, literary forms and arts of North Germany and the moral values and classical literary influences of RomeWritten documents mixing of Christian trends and Germanic cultureGreat wealth of Latin words enrich Old EnglishSome old words are given new meaningsAnglo Norman Period and ChristianityPreservation and transmission of cultureMonasteries as centres of learning and of artsGreat cathedrals (Winchester, Salisbury, Canterbury, Gloucester….) as centres of communal life of the city
311066 - 1485 Anglo Norman Period Middle English OCT BATLE OF HASTINGS: THE NORMANS INVADE ENGLANDWILLIAM I THE CONQUERORsurvey of the economic life of the country: Doomsday BookEnglish common law (separation of the fields of clerical and lay justice)HENRY II(King of England and Western France)Professional soldiers and reduction of power of the barons. Scutage tax.Travelling judges and Common law (custom, comparisons, previous cases and decisions)Trial by jury.Reduction of the power of the Church. Henry's Chancellor, THOMAS BECKET ( ), became archbishop of Canterbury Becket defends the interests of the Church and opposes the King refusing to comply with the Constitutions of Clarendon (1164). In 1170 Becket is murdered at CanterburyRICHARD I THE LIONHEARTTHIRD CRUSADE ( )
321066 - 1485 Anglo Norman Period Middle English JOHN LACKLANDHeavy taxes to defend French possessions1215 MAGNA CHARTA: kingship checked by acceptance of the restraint of law (first step towards the constitutional Monarchy)Simon De Montfort Earl of Leicester in 1258 led a baronial revolt to create a structure of permanent control over the King's policyIn 1265 De Montfort called the Ist meeting of the parliament (barons, knights and 2 representatives from each town)1295 Model Parliament (representatives of the barons, the clergy, two knights from each county and two citizens from each town)EDWARD IIIThe idea of CHIVALRY is introduced. The order of the GARTER is foundedHUNDRED YEARS WAR between England and France for French possessions1348 THE BLACK DEATH (bubonic plague). Religious reformist movement of LOLLARDY
331066 - 1485 Anglo Norman Period Middle English RICHARD II 1377 - 1399 POLLTAX (4 pence from each lay person of either sex over 14 except for beggars and 12 pence from all members of the religious orders)1381 PEASANTS' REVOLT1399 Richard II abdicates forced by his noblesHENRY V1415 Victory of Agincourt in the Hundred Years WarHENRY VI 1422 – 1461 (Lancaster)In the Hundred Years War the wave of French patriotism is revived by JOAN OF ARC ( )The English withdraw to Calais.War of the roses (1455 –1485)1461 HENRY VI is confined to the Tower of LondonEDWARD IV1476 CAXTON starts PRINTING PRESSEDWARD V 1483Both Edward IV and V were confined to the tower and murderedRICHARD III Duke of Gloucester 1483 – 1485 (York)
34Christianity and culture Middle Ages:Christianity and cultureDRAMA develops in this period because it is used to give peasants a religious education in the mysteries of faith and Bible. It adds a human element to the religious themes, creates characters corresponding to English social types,Liturgical drama: sung dialogues between the celebrants to commemorate above all Nativity and ResurrectionMystery / Miracle plays: in the early 14th century the festival of Corpus Christi is introduced in the month of June and this kind of “sacre rappresentazioni” develop from the procession of the Consecrated HostThese include episodes which include human types easily recognisable by everyoneEven the setting may be an English oneMorality plays (Everyman).Here characters are allegorical personifications of abstractions from theology or symbols of various aspects of human condition: Pride, Envy, Mankind…We have the first pale tentative towards a psychological observation of charactersAllegorical tales: aim to make a moral point by tales that aren’t of biblical origin
35LONG NARRATIVE EPIC POEM EPOS = the poetsOLD ENGLISH POETRY(Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid) “BEOWULF”ORALSpecial poetic vocabularyAlliterationRepetitionFixed phrasesOrnate expressionsRecollection of a glorious pastReferences to historical eventsHistory as frame of the workCanvas as supernatural folk-tales and mythological eventsAristocratic, military societyFate of a whole peopleMythical hero and his noble heroic actionsPraise of the greatBrave deeds of heroesLament at the death of a heroCOMPOSED BY BARDS OR SCOPSBARDS OR SCOPS HAD THE FUNCTION OFEntertaining the audienceHistorians of the groupObjective narration: the poet’s point of view coincides with that of the characters describedNor the poet nor characters criticise the ideals and the customs of their countryInitial prologue and beginning in medias resElevated styleLong majestic speechesRich and various vocabularyDetailed descriptions and lists of objectsVivid pictorial flashes (banquet, battle, voyage, funeralMAIN THEME:The nature of heroic lifeThe function and character of leadership in heroic societyDIDACTIC AIM:celebration of the heroic ethicALL MEN SHOULD DIRECT THEMSELVES TO ACTIONS WHICH LEAD TO GLORY AND PRAISE
36Reliques of Ancient English Poetry 1765 BALLARE = TO DANCEVERSESONGDANCEORAL ANONYMOUS NARRATIVE POEMSCOMPOSED BY COMMON PEOPLEFOR A SIMPLE AUDIENCEWERE SUNG OR RECITED IN ALEHOUSES AND AT FAIRSSimple instrumental accompanimentSimple languagestanzas of 2 or 4 lines usually rhyming abcb/ ababRepetition of words or linesRefrain (repetition of 1 ore more lines)AlliterationTRADITIONAL BALLAD(13th 14th century)Reliques of Ancient English Poetry 1765BALLADS OF MAGIC:fairies, ghosts, witchcrafts and transformationBORDER BALLADS:Rivalry between the English and the Scottish peopleBALLADS OF LOVE AND DOMESTIC TRAGEDYBALLADS OF OUTLAWSCycle of Robin HoodMAIN THEMES:Supernatural, love, war, family tragediesNO DIDACTIC AIMNarrative as a SEQUENCE OF RAPID FLASHESINCISIVENESS DEPENDS ON THE SELECTION AND JUXTAPOSITION OF FLASHESIMPERSONALITY:the storyteller does not intrude his personalityno moralizing approachMIXTURE OF DIALOGUE AND NARRATIONREAL AND SUPERNATURAL CHARACTERS (speaking animals and birds, fairies, witches, ghosts)NO CLEAR LINE OF DEMARCATION BETWEEN SUPERNATURAL CREATURES AND ORDINARY MORTALSBALLADS HAD THE FUNCTION OFEntertaining the audience FOCUSING ON ONE SINGLE SITUATION and treating it dramaticallyUSED A SIMPLE LANGUAGE TO ALLOW LISTENERS/READERS TO CONCENTRATE ON THE PLOT
38BeowulfAs a Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, J.R.R. Tolkien probably taught Beowulf every year of his working lifeHis scholarly paper, “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” brought studies of the poem to the forefront of the academic worldTolkien's imagined world of Arda owes something of it's creation to Beowulf: “Beowulf is among my most valued sources” (Letters, no.25).Tolkien used Beowulf in creating his own works and adopting the good vs. evil archetype. Just as our modern English language is based on the ancient English, Tolkien used Old English words in his creation of names.Tolkien included almost 50 Anglo-Saxon words or phrases from Beowulf in his works.
39King Arthurian LegendArthurian legend has become the mirror of the ideal of medieval knighthood and chivalry. Arthur:Was the illegitimate son of Uther Pendragon, king of BritainBecame king of Britain by successfully withdrawing a sword from a stone.Possessed the miraculous sword Excalibur , given to him by the mysterious Lady of the Lake .Arthur's enemies: sister Morgan le Fay and his nephew Mordred. Morgan le Fay was usually represented as an evil sorceress, scheming to win Arthur's throne for herself.Mordred (or Modred) was variously Arthur's nephew or his son by his sister Morgawse.He seized Arthur's throne during the king's absence.Later he was slain in battle by Arthur, but not before he had fatally wounded the king.Most invincible knights in Arthur's realm: Sir Tristram and Sir Launcelot of the Lake.Sir Gawain, Arthur's nephew, who appeared variously as the ideal of knightly courtesy and as the bitter enemy of Launcelot.After 1225 no significant medieval Arthurian literature was produced on the Continent.In England, however, the legend continued to flourish. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c.1370), one of the best Middle English romances, embodies the ideal of chivalric knighthood.The last important medieval work dealing with the Arthurian legend is the Morte d'Arthur of Sir Thomas Malory , whose tales have become the source for most subsequent Arthurian material.
40Sir Gawain & The Green Knight (ca 1370) This poem tells the story of Gawain, a knight and member of King Arthur’s Round TableA perfect example of the idealism and romanticism of chivalryPlot OverviewDuring a New Year’s Eve feast at King Arthur’s court, a strange figure, referred to only as the Green Knight, pays the court an unexpected visit.challenges the group’s leader or any other brave representative to a game: The Green Knight says that he will allow whomever accepts the challenge to strike him with his own axe, on the condition that the challenger find him in exactly one year to receive a blow in return.Arthur hesitates to respond, but when the Green Knight mocks Arthur’s silence, the king steps forward to take the challenge.This poem tells the story of Gawain, a knight and member of King Arthur’s Round TableA perfect example of the idealism and romanticism of chivalryPlot OverviewDuring a New Year’s Eve feast at King Arthur’s court, a strange figure, referred to only as the Green Knight, pays the court an unexpected visit. He challenges the group’s leader or any other brave representative to a game. The Green Knight says that he will allow whomever accepts the challenge to strike him with his own axe, on the condition that the challenger find him in exactly one year to receive a blow in return.Stunned, Arthur hesitates to respond, but when the Green Knight mocks Arthur’s silence, the king steps forward to take the challenge. As soon as Arthur grips the Green Knight’s axe, Sir Gawain leaps up and asks to take the challenge himself. He takes hold of the axe and, in one deadly blow, cuts off the knight’s head. To the amazement of the court, the now-headless Green Knight picks up his severed head. Before riding away, the head reiterates the terms of the pact, reminding the young Gawain to seek him in a year and a day at the Green Chapel. After the Green Knight leaves, the company goes back to its festival, but Gawain is uneasy.
41The Canterbury TalesEnglishman Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories in a frame story, between 1387 and 1400.Story about of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury.Chaucer intended that each pilgrim should tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two tales on the way back. He never finished his enormous project and even the completed tales were not finally revised. Scholars are uncertain about the order of the tales. As the printing press had yet to be invented when Chaucer wrote his works, The Canterbury Tales has been passed down in several handwritten manuscripts.The Canterbury Tales is written in Middle English.
42Canterbury Tales1 Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote When April with its sweet-smelling showers2 The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, Has pierced the drought of March to the root,And bathed every veyne in swich licour And bathed every vein (of the plants) in such liquidOf which vertu engendred is the flour; By the power of which the flower is created; Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth When the West Wind also with its sweet breath,Inspired hath in every holt and heeth In every holt and heath, has breathed life intoThe tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne The tender crops, and the young sunHath in the Ram his half cours yronne, Has run its half course in Aries,And smale foweles maken melodye, And small fowls make melody,10 That slepen al the nyght with open ye Those that sleep all the night with open eyes 11 (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages), (So Nature incites them in their hearts), 12 Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, Then folk long to go on pilgrimages, 13 And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, And professional pilgrims (long) to seek foreign shores, 14 To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; To (go to) distant shrines, known in various lands; 15 And specially from every shires ende And specially from every shire's end 16 Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, Of England to Canterbury they travel, 17 The hooly blisful martir for to seke, To seek the holy blessed martyr, 18 That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. Who helped them when they were sick.
43The Canterbury TalesChaucer began work on The Canterbury Tales about 1387and intended for each of his thirty pilgrims to tell four tales, two while traveling to Canterbury and two while traveling from Canterbury.However, only twenty-three pilgrims received a story before Chaucer's death in 1400.Chaucer's Tales gained mass popularity the early fifteenth century => Chaucer = father of the English language.This facsimile is the first reproduction ever made of this manuscript, considered a prime authority for the text of The Canterbury Tales.He began work on The Canterbury Tales about 1387, and intended for each of his thirty pilgrims to tell four tales, two while traveling to Canterbury and two while traveling from Canterbury. However, only twenty-three pilgrims received a story before Chaucer's death in 1400.Chaucer's Tales quickly spread throughout England in the early fifteenth century. Scholars feel The Canterbury Tales reached their instant and continued success because of their accurate and oftentimes vivid portrayal of human nature.. . . it has been said of The Canterbury Tales that all of humanity moves through its pages. The stories are full of an inimitable humor, at once friendly and shrewd. The points are often made casually, often with bludgeon strokes, but they are always human and illuminating.This facsimile is the first reproduction ever made of this manuscript, considered a prime authority for the text of The Canterbury Tales. Many scholars rank this work with the manuscripts of John Milton as the most historically significant surviving manuscripts in the English language.“ all ofhumanity moves through its pages.”Presents humor, at once friendly and satirical.
44Canterbury Tales A rich, tapestry of medieval social life combining elements of all classes, from nobles to workers, from priests and nuns to drunkards and thieves.When The Canterbury Tales were written:Christianity was the dominant social force throughout western Europe, including England.In 1388, while Chaucer was working on the tales, a change occurred in the way that Christianity was perceived and practiced when John Wycliffe, an English reformer, released a version of the Bible translated into English. For the first time, people from the lower classes, who had not been educated in Latin, could read the Bible themselves instead of having its word interpreted to them by members of the clergy.
45Canterbury TalesThe General Prologue consists of character sketches of each member of the group that is going to Canterbury, as described by Chaucer, who is also a character in his own novel. Any other characters in The Canterbury Tales are created by one of the pilgrims, in stories within the novel. Therefore, these lesser characters are so numerous, that it is counter-productive to give them a character sketch.Since the General Prologue and the main characters overlap almost completely, the character summaries will be combined with the General Prologue, but elaborated on by use of other parts of the text.Chaucer: He is a character in his own novel, and he writes in the first person as an outside observer traveling with the pilgrims on their way to Canterbury.
46Canterbury Tales- some of the characters The Knight: a warrior who relies on the code of chivalry. Represents the romanticized standards of the feudal systemThe Prioress: A nun, named Madame Eglantine. She makes every effort to be refined and elegant, and she cannot bear to see any harm come to any of God’s lesser creatures, like mice. However, when it is her turn to tell a story, hers is violent and full of blood and sorrow.The Merchant: The merchant is obsessed with his wealth, and talks about money constantly.The Wife of Bath: A well-traveled middle-aged woman who has been married five times, not counting other lovers she did not marry. She has a large amount of knowledge from experience, and when she questions the authority of the bible, she does it with a very good background from which to debate it.Poor Priest: lived truly poor and in the service of God. An example of how a traditional priest should live in Chaucer’s time, following the life of Christ.The Miller: a large and strong man, and is one of the best at telling vulgar stories.The Pardoner: A clergyman who is outwardly corrupt. His main motivating factor was money, and so if the sinner had the gold, the Pardoner would favor the sinner and help pardon him.The Knight: The Knight is a warrior who relies on the code of chivalry. He is more of a traditional character, adhering to the romanticized standards of the feudal system that were rapidly deteriorating during this time period. He is extremely courteous, and long-winded in the stories that he tells.The Prioress: Her name is Madame Eglantine, and she is the most delicate and sensitive lady one could ever hope to meet. She makes every effort to be refined and elegant, and she cannot bear to see any harm come to any of God’s lesser creatures, like mice. However, when it is her turn to tell a story, hers is violent and full of blood and sorrow.The Merchant: The merchant is obsessed with his wealth, and talks about money constantly.The Wife of Bath: She is a well-traveled middle-aged woman who has been married five times, not counting other lovers she did not marry. She has a large amount of knowledge from experience, and when she questions the authority of the bible, she does it with a very good background from which to debate it.Poor Priest: This priest lived truly poor and in the service of God. He is an example of how a traditional priest should live in Chaucer’s time, following the life of Christ.The Miller: a large and strong man, and is one of the best at telling vulgar stories.The Pardoner: a clergyman who is outwardly corrupt. He keeps his body in poor shape, and often over-indulges in wine. His main motivating factor was money, and so if the sinner had the gold, the Pardoner would favor the sinner and help pardon him.
47Canterbury Tales: The Retraction Chaucer concludes his tales with praise to Jesus Christ. "Now preye I to hem alle that herkne thai litel tretys or / rede, that if ther be any thyng in it that liketh hem, that / therof they thanken oure Lord Jesu Crist, of whom procedeth / al wit and al goodnesse" (Chaucer's Retraction, l.1-4).He adds that if anyone does not understand these tales, then it is due to his ignorance and not his intention, which was to fully capture the goodness of Christ in tale. He requests pardon from Christ for any problems there may be with the text.He hopes to be granted mercy and kindness so that he may ascend to heaven at his time and concludes the long tales of Canterbury with this final line: "So that I may been oon of / hem at the day of doome that shulle be saved. Qui cum patre, &cetera." Chaucer's Retraction, l.29-30
48Why did those pilgrims go to Canterbury? St. Thomas Becket, (c – 29 December 1170) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170.He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church.He engaged in conflict with King Henry II over the rights and privileges of the Church and was assassinated by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.
49What caused Becket’s assassination In June 1170, the archbishop of York and the bishops of London and Salisbury held the coronation of Henry the Young King in York.This was a breach of Canterbury's privilege of coronation, for which the Pope suspended the three.That wasn't enough for Becket:in November 1170, he excommunicated all three.the three bishops fled to the king in Normandy,Becket continued to excommunicate his opponents in the church.word of this reached Henry who was in Normandy at the time.
50Henry is angry!After these latest venomous reports of Becket's activities, Henry is reported to have raised his head from his sickbed and roared a lament of frustration. The King's exact words are in doubt, and several versions have been reported:"Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?“"Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?“"Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?“"Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?“"Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?““Will no one revenge me of the injuries I have sustained from one turbulent priest?“"Will none of the knaves eating my bread rid me of this turbulent priest?“"What a band of loathsome vipers I have nursed in my bosom who will let their lord be insulted by this low-born cleric!“"What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their Lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?"
51Knights decide to ACT!Whatever the King said, it was interpreted as a royal command, and four knights, Reginald FitzUrse, Hugh de Moreville, William de Tracy, and Richard le Breton, set out to consult the Archbishop of Canterbury.On 29 December 1170 they arrived at Canterbury.According to accounts left by the monk Gervase of Canterbury and eyewitness Edward Grim, they placed their weapons under a sycamore tree outside the cathedral and hid their mail armour under cloaks before entering to challenge Becket.The knights informed Becket he was to go to Winchester to give an account of his actions, but Becket refused. It was not until Becket refused their demands to submit to the king's will that they retrieved their weapons and rushed back inside for the killing.Becket, meanwhile, proceeded to the main hall for vespers.The four knights, carrying naked swords, caught up with him in a spot near a door to the monastic cloister, the stairs into the crypt, and the stairs leading up into the quire of the cathedral, where the monks were chanting vespers.
53AssassinationSeveral contemporary accounts of what happened next exist; of particular note is that of Edward Grim, who was himself wounded in the attack....The wicked knight leapt suddenly upon him, cutting off the top of the crown which the unction of sacred chrism had dedicated to God. Next he received a second blow on the head, but still he stood firm and immovable. At the third blow he fell on his knees and elbows, offering himself a living sacrifice, and saying in a low voice, 'For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.' But the third knight inflicted a terrible wound as he lay prostrate. By this stroke, the crown of his head was separated from the head in such a way that the blood white with the brain, and the brain no less red from the blood, dyed the floor of the cathedral. The same clerk who had entered with the knights placed his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, and, horrible to relate, scattered the brains and blood about the pavements, crying to the others, 'Let us away, knights; this fellow will arise no more.'
54Middle Ages: General Timeline C.E.Crusades1347 Bubonic Plague1066 C.E.Norman invasion of Britain450 C.E.Anglo-Saxons invade England1455 C.E.Printing PressDante’s Divine ComedySir Gawain & Green Knight306 C.E.Constantine comes to power in Eastern Roman Empire; beginning of Byzantine Empire476 C.E.Fall of RomeBeowulfComposedsometimebetween850 C.E.900 C.E.100 Years WarFrance & England1386 C.E.Chaucer begins writing Canterbury Tales1453Fall of Byzantine Empire with invasion of Ottoman Turks1517Protestant Reformation