the middle ages

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The Middle Ages. England: 1066-1500. William the Conqueror. The Battle of Hastings The Bayeux Tapestry How does English life change?. The Feudal System . The Rise of Feudalism Feudal Life The manor consisted of the castle, church, village, and surrounding farmland. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The Middle Ages

The Middle AgesEngland: 1066-15001William the ConquerorThe Battle of HastingsThe Bayeux TapestryHow does English life change?

The Feudal System The Rise of FeudalismFeudal LifeThe manor consisted of the castle, church, village, and surrounding farmland.Think about the chess board How does it represent feudal life?

PawnKnightKingQueenBishopRookRepresentsMovementNumberPositionSerfs / peasantsLimited forward / 2 first move, 1 there after8FrontRepresentsMovementNumberPositionCastleHorizontally & vertically / Unlimited2SidesRepresentsMovementNumberPositionChurchDiagonally / Unlimited2Surround royaltyRepresentsMovementNumberPositionQueenAny direction / unlimited1Beside kingRepresentsMovementNumberPositionMonarchAny direction / 11CenterRepresentsMovementNumberPositionKnightsL / 32Protect royaltyThe Feudal ManorPower and prestige of the noble class based on land (the fief), which supported the lord, his family, and his soldiers. Landed estate organized as manors; each a self-supporting economic unit; the lord provided the land and protection; serfs provided the labor.

The Feudal System

The Distribution of PowerKingLords, barons, and vassalsKnightsSerfs, villains, and peasants

Where do WOMEN fit?!The Feudal System The Magna Carta1100 CESome barons had too much wealth and could be a serious threat to the king.Result? Increased pressure by the king upon the barons for funds. Refusal meant imprisonment and even death1215 CEEnglish barons force King John to sign the Magna Carta, which limited the kings powers of taxation and required trials before punishment.This is the first time an English monarch came under the control of the law!


The Catholic Church was the only church in Europe, and it had its own hierarchy, code of laws, and coffers.

HierarchyPopeBishopsParish PriestsMonks and Nuns






Most homes were cold and damp and had very small windows for security purposes.

ClothingPeasantryOuter clothes were almost never laundered and smelled of smoke, but linen undergarments were washed regularly.Most wore woolen outer garments with linen undergarments.

NobilityClothing is fashionable with brighter colors, better materials, and longer jackets.ClergyClothing consisted of woolen habits dyed particular colors to designate religious orders.

Other Aspects of Medieval LifeHealthTreatmentsMainly herbalNo antibioticsDiseaseReliefThe Humors4 humors4 elements4 body fluidsBloodlettingArts & EntertainmentOriginated in churchDrama grows out of the liturgy.

Town LifeNew townsNew class of peopleFirst companies

Sir Gawain and the Green KnightBy the Pearl Poet11SGGK: Background & StyleSGGK Streaming Video

Original manuscript of this poem is unique only ONE (never was well-known hardly read at all between 1400 and 1839)Written in a style very similar to BeowulfHeavy 4 beat lineAlliterationRhymeNative English vocab. from area of Midlands south of Chester near modern-day Liverpool. Dialect is very difficult for us today and probably was very difficult for Londoners of that day. (Obscurity of dialect helped keep poem unknown)

SGGK: Background & StylePoem shows religious tendencies we assume that the Pearl Poet was a cleric specific name of author is unknownIt is believed that the poem was written sometime between 1375 and 1400Description of armor, clothing, and furniture 1375Handwriting has been dated roughly to 1400Written in a unique stanza called bob and wheel combines alliteration and rhymeSGGK: Matter & FormRomance (Medieval)

3 Subjects or MattersThe Matter of Greece (Troy and Alexander)The Matter of France (Charlemagnes Court and 12 peers 12 disciples or primitive round-table)The Matter of Britain (Arthurian Legends)

FormThemes (love issue) quest involves travels (social integrity; personal worth; knowledge) Plot intricate (carefully worded or rambling)Characterization flat; stereotypedSGGK: Matter & FormEpicExamples: Illiad, Beowulf, Aneid, El Cid, & Paradise Lost

Scope: Social

Motive: Necessity

Themes: 1. Emphasis on war/ male friendship2. Realistic3. Historical/concrete geography

Focus: Morals

Mode: Literal because already addressing universal social issuesRomanceExamples: Morte dArthur & The Odyssey

Scope: Individualistic (one persons crisis)

Motive: Desire for adventure or for personal gratification

Themes: 1. Heterosexual love/women2. Supernatural elements/mysterious atmosphere3. Fantasy/vague atmosphere

Focus: Manners

Mode: Symbolic (Light on message, heavy on art)SGGK: Matter & FormSir Gawain and the Green Knight has a sense of irony that most romances dont have - heavily moral in end. Could be called an ironic romance (More serious)

Key theme of medieval romances - attention to limitations of code of chivalryCircular structure is hallmark of late 14th century literature

ChallengeJourneyTemptationMessageSGGK: Green MenWild men of the woods; represents natural man vs. made-up men of upper levelVegetation god die and come back to life each year like vegetationNatural forcesKingdom of Troy (Faeries/Longaevi) theyre eternal and have no souls (Faeries were larger than people and terrible practical jokers; unpredictable; shape-shifters can appear in diff. forms)

SGGK: Medieval InstitutionsSir Gawain and the Green Knight is the product of 3 medieval institutions or foundations:

FeudalismPoem is about 200 yrs. archaic, deliberately golden age of chivalry, now (the date of the poems composition) in the state of decay Gawain exemplifies both ideals of knighthoodPhysical ideals of knighthoodNon-physical ideals of knighthoodSGGK: Medieval InstitutionsCourtly Love Developed partly out of the cult of Mary, which elevated women

Rules of Courtly LoveMarriage is no real excuse for not loving. He who is not jealous cannot love. That which a lover takes against the will of his beloved has no relish. Boys do not love until they reach the age of maturity. Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice. A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved. When made public love rarely endures. The easy attainment of love makes it of little value: difficulty of attainment makes it prized. Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved. When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates. A new love puts an old one to flight. Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love. Jealousy increases when one suspects his beloved. A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.

SGGK: Medieval InstitutionsThe Medieval ChurchPoem is about 200 yrs. archaic, deliberately the only religious figure is a chaplain church organization was not yet complex less opportunity for corruption. The Holy Grail initially was a Christian symbol created by the church in an effort to overcome the influence of courtly love only the pure could find it.

SGGK: Intertwined PlotsSir Gawain and the Green Knight is made up of three intertwined traditional plots (all designed to test the worth of the Christian knight):The beheading contestThe temptationThe exchange game

A knight was constantly on the quest for perfection one should seek to imitate Christ.

The Canterbury TalesBy Geoffrey Chaucer22CT: Background & StyleOriginal manuscript of this poem is unique only ONE (never was well-known hardly read at all between 1400 and 1839)Written in a style very similar to BeowulfHeavy 4 beat lineAlliterationRhymeNative English vocab. from area of Midlands south of Chester near modern-day Liverpool. Dialect is very difficult for us today and probably was very difficult for Londoners of that day. (Obscurity of dialect helped keep poem unknown)

The English Poetic TraditionWith the invasion of William in 1066, French becomes language of aristocracy.From 1066 to late 1300s, no poetry is written in English.Literature is written in either French or LatinSome early English poets include:Pearl PoetWilliam LanglandJohn GowerGeoffrey ChaucerGeoffrey Chaucer: The ManSon of a wealthy London merchantAs a child, served as a page in a noble householdCountess of Ulster (married to a son of King Edward III)Educated in values of aristocratic culture1367squire to kings householdMultilingual: English, French, Italian, etc.1374Controller of the Customs in London

England during Chaucers LifetimeTurbulent times:Politically1377 Richard II becomes king at age 101386 Richard II is nearly deposed1389 Richard II regains power1399 Henry Bolingbroke murders Richard and becomes King Henry IVWars with France and the ScotsReligiouslyJohn Wyclif and supporters challenge Church in terms of doctrine and immense economic power (Protestant Reformation in 16th century)Soci0economically1381: Peasants Revolt

Geoffrey Chaucer: The PoetOne of the earliest British poetsWriting is characterized byPoetic geniusPsychological subtletyHumane good humorAware of European literary traditions as ongoing cultural projectsArtistic subtletyCultural sophisticalEstablished an English literary tradition and the basis for William ShakespeareEdmund SpenserJohn MiltonGeoffrey Chaucer: The PoetCareer as a poet can be divided into 3 periodsInfluenced by fashionable French court poetry (through 1370)Influenced by Dante (1370-1386)Influenced by English vernacular (1386-1400)The Canterbury TalesChaucer begins CT in 1386 and leaves it incompleteThe story is a frame tale.29 pilgrims meet at the Tabard Inn and decide tojourney together.Each pilgrim will tell 2 ta