English Literature. The Medieval Period. (Old English to Middle English)

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1 English Literature The Medieval Period (Old English to Middle English)

2 England before the English When the Romans arrived, they found the land inhabited by Britons. known as the Celts Stonehenge no written language absorbed into the Latin speaking Roman society Romans withdraw, leaving the Britons/Celts behind Invasions from the Northern Europe Anglo-Saxon bring Germanic languages

3 By 600, Anglo-Saxons conquer the Celtics Become the Britons language becomes more Germanic still retains some Latin The Anglo-Saxons two urgings--war and wandering become part of the oral tradition Beowulf is an example of an Anglo-Saxon hero tale Beowulf battles Grendel s mother

4 By 700, Christian missionaries arrive to convert the pagans Latin (the language of the Church) returns King Alfred the Britons become organized first true king of the Britons period of prosperity King Alfred brings an age of prosperity

5 In 1066, the Normans (French speaking people from Normandy), led by William the Conqueror attack and defeat the Britains (a blend of the Britons and Anglo-Saxons) at the Battle of Hastings the 3rd language is introduced--french French culture and French literature arrives

6 What was it like to live in the Middle Ages?

7 The 3 Estates in the Middle Ages The idea of estates, or orders, was encouraged during the Age, but this ordering was breaking down. Clergy Latin chiefly spoken, those who pray, purpose was to save everyone s soul Nobles French chiefly spoken, those who fight, purpose was to protect allow for all to work in peace and provide justice Commoners English spoken (French-German blend), those who work, purpose was to feed and clothe all above them

8 feudalism A tenant (vassal) renews his oath of fealty to his lord a social system in which people worked and fought for nobles who gave them protection and the use of land in return The economic system of much of the Middle Ages ( ) Commoners (peasants) lived on a feudal manor. The lord of the manor gave his vassals (the peasants) land to farm. (Robin Hood) In return, the vassals received protection from roving bandits. Yet, they were taxed and had to surrender a portion of their crops to the lord. it was better to be a lord than a vassal! Feudalism fostered a sense of loyalty between the vassals and their lord.

9 Chivalry A product of feudalism, chivalry was an idealized system of manners and morals Restricted to nobility (mainly noted with KNIGHTS) The Medieval knight was bound to the chivalric code to be loyal to God his lord his lady Chivalric ideals include... To live by honour and for glory To fight for the welfare of all To serve the liege lord in valour and faith

10 The High Middle Ages (begin 1095) Begin with the First Crusade (1095)--reclaim Jerusalem from the infidels Open trade routes Peasants (the vassals) are liberated from their lords to fight, and die, in the Holy Lands Cities spring up along the crusade routes Feudalism dies out the transition to the Renaissance begins

11 The High Middle Ages Before, in the Dark Ages, the Church provided structure to society, not only with religion, but by providing education, as well. Sadly, with the Crusades, the Church becomes incredibly corrupt. Popes fight for political power Greed is rampant selling of indulgences Crusades for $ look for this in the Tales

12 With the Crusades comes The Black Death spreads along trade routes kills much of the population the plague outbreaks occur through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance Paradoxically, the Plague provides for continued growth in cities Afterwards, hundreds of new jobs available Many debts died off with creditors also contributed to society s culture

13 Literature During the Medieval Period

14 Languages Latin was the language of the Roman Catholic Church, which dominated Europe The Church was the only source of education Thus, Latin was a common language for Medieval writings.

15 Types of Literature Troubadour Poetry (Bernart de Ventadorn) Arthurian Legends Epic Romances/Quests (Dante Alighieri, Sir Gawain) Courtly Love Religious Poetry (Julian of Norwich) Fabliaux (Geoffrey Chaucer) Sonnets (Petrarch) Sestinas (Arnaut Daniel)

16 The literary model of courtly love may have been invented to provide young men with a model for appropriate behavior. It taught them to sublimate their desires and to channel their energy into socially useful behavior (love service rather than wandering around the countryside, stealing or raping women).

17 The "symptoms" of love were described as if it were a sickness. The "lovesick" knight s typical symptoms: sighing, turning pale, turning red, fever, inability to sleep, eat or drink.

18 The Quest In addition to the theme of Courtly Love, the Quest was highly important: The code of conduct observed by a knight errant who is wandering in search of deeds of chivalry. This knight is bound by a code of behavior - a set of conventional principles and expectations

19 Characteristics of Medieval Literature Romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight A narrative in prose or verse that tells of the adventures and heroic exploits of chivalric heroes exploits of knights often a supernatural element involved Christian message concern with salvation and the world to come no interest in social change until the late 14th century Chaucer signals new thinking, up-ending social order

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