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Connections: “Gawain,” “Federigo,” and Canterbury

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Presentation on theme: "Connections: “Gawain,” “Federigo,” and Canterbury"— Presentation transcript:

1 Connections: “Gawain,” “Federigo,” and Canterbury
Medieval Literature Background Material and Connections: “Gawain,” “Federigo,” and Canterbury

2 Knights of Legend A Society of Promises:
Feudalism was a system of government and of land ownership. In exchange for a nobleman’s oath of loyalty, a king would give him lands. The nobleman ruled these lands, judging legal cases, imposing taxes, and maintaining an army. These powers were granted him in exhange for his promise of loyalty to his king.

3 The Code of Chivalry: An expression of feudal ideals of honor, nobles developed a code of conduct called chivalry. This code demanded that knights be brave warriors and virtuous Christians who would selflessly fight for justice Chivalrous knights obeyed certain rules of warfare such as never attacking an unarmed opponent Additionally, adoring a particular lady (not necessarily one’s wife) was seen as a means of achieving self-improvement Platonic Love, Respect, and Honor are common motifs [see Courtly Love]

4 All You Need Is [Courtly] Love
The idea that revering and acting in the name of a lady would make a knight brave and better was central to this aspect of chivalry. In its ideal form, it is nonsexual. A knight might wear his lady’s colors in battle He might glorify her in words and be inspired by her The lady always remained pure and out of reach; she was “set above” her admirer.

5 Arthurian Legend King Arthur and His Knights:
The ideals of chivalry gave rise to legends and songs, such as the tales of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. In the eleventh century, as feudalism established itself throughout Europe, stories about Arthur’s court became widespread.

6 Elements of “Romantic” Literature
A near-perfect hero An evil enemy A quest A test of the hero Supernatural elements Good vs. evil Female figures who are usually maidens (in need of rescue), mothers, or crones

7 “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”
What Romantic elements are found within this piece? What, if anything, does Gawain stand to lose beyond his life? Why is this significant? What does this reveal about the people of this time?

8 Why does the Green Knight spare Gawain
Why does the Green Knight spare Gawain? Was Gawain ever in any real danger? What does the Knight / his challenge represent?

9 Frame Story For a movie reference, think of The Breakfast Club
A larger / more general / main story is established and which leads to the more detailed [interior] story [or series of stories]. Within the time period, the representative pieces include: Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales For a movie reference, think of The Breakfast Club

10 “Federigo’s Falcon” What social and moral problems arise when the boy asks for Federigo’s falcon? How is Federigo’s decision to kill his bird SIMILAR to Monna Giovanna’s decision to ask for it? What is revealed about the culture / thought process of the group in relation to these decisions? [In what ways are the 2 characters models of behavior?]

11 What do the decisions of the two characters reveal about sacrifice
What do the decisions of the two characters reveal about sacrifice? How is this story about loss & restoration for both characters?

12 Based on “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”
What is the purpose of the “Wife’s Tale”? Didactic—teaching a moral? Persuasive? Simply entertaining? Which elements define, describe, develop this tale? Provide two examples and explanations: Give a statement of the Medieval / Romantic element being used Give a quote from the “Wife’s Tale” to support the element Give analysis (how, why, what about the quote proves the useful nature of the element within the story)

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