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n The term "medieval" or "Middle Ages" was first used by sixteenth century Renaissance scholars n The period 450 - 1000 has been called the "Dark Ages" n the term "Middle Ages" was reserved for the period of 1000 -1500.
Pre-Medieval England n England was inhabited from about 3000 BC n Celtic tribes invaded England around 700 BC n Romans - 43 AD – 400 AD n end of the 5 th century - the Angles and Saxons settled in Britain
n From about 800 on Danish or Viking invaders began to plunder Ireland France n King Alfred the Great (849 -899) n Tribal Anglo-Saxon England began to develop into a feudal society under the pressure of the wars against the Norsemen.
translated important works into English The Anglo. Saxon Chronicle
n The Anglo-Saxon period ranges from 449 -1066. n It ends with the Battle of Hastings where the French, under the leadership of William the Conqueror invaded England.
Anglo-Saxon literature n The language spoken by the people was a Germanic dialect which we call Old English n Anglo-Saxon culture was mainly oral; poets entertained the kings, warriors and their families with tales of the ancestors' adventures and heroic deeds n There also collections of laws, historical works, and translations from Greek and Latin into English
n alliterative verse (The angry alligator ate Andy) n Alliteration is the basis of the verse: having a clear pattern of words beginning with the same sound was a great help for memorising, a vital consideration in communities where books were rare treasures. n caesura - a break, or pause, in the middle of each line (“This is the house that Jack built” ) n each part generally has 2 strong beats
The poetry of Anglo-Saxon England: genres 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. hymns or secular songs; elegies, short poems of poignant loss; riddles; Saints' Lives; epics
Elegies n are less heroic than stoic. n They celebrate suffering nobly borne. n Two of the greatest The Wanderer and The Seafarer (the singers are men who have lost their ring-givers, and with that, their communities) n Ezra Pound - translation of The Seafarer (preserves the alliteration and the twostress half-line of the original )
Old English Elegies n “The Wanderer” (c. 975) —an elegy or lament for the loss of one’s lord and companions; loneliness, exile, and utter desolation. Heavy with the thought of mortality and the end of all being. Speaker is in exile from his kin, his lord is dead; his companions lost in war. n n a somber view of life, a kind of tough pessimism late heroic Anglo-Saxon poem, The Battle of Maldon, recounts an 11 th-century invasion by the Viking heathens. The English are defeated in this battle, but they go down with defiance and courage.
verse riddles n an entertaining collection of 96 Anglo- Saxon verse riddles n Riddle 82, written in verse: n Who is it? A creature with one eye, two feet, 1, 200 heads, a back and a belly, two hands, two arms, two shoulders, one neck, and two sides.
Anglo-Saxon riddles n Some Anglo-Saxon riddles have survived as playground rhymes. Four dilly-dandies Four stick standies Two crookers Two lookers And a wig wag
epic narratives n The epics tell of the most remarkable events of a people's history the deeds of heroic men. The first epic songs known in literature are Homer's “Illiad" and “Odyssey" (end of the 6 th century BC) n EPIC – a long, narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society. They also convey an overwhelming sense of the virtue of comradeship, based on the sword
The story of Beowulf wasn’t written down until about 700 AD by “The Beowulf Poet” who is unknown. He wrote down the poem which for many years had been only sung or spoken. n Old English n epic poem n alliterative verse n caesura
The folk-kings' former fame we have heard of, How princes displayed then their prowess-in-battle.
What happens in Beowulf?
…the Battle with Grendel’s Mother (She also represents evil. )
SUMMARY OF EPIC FEATURES: n A long narrative poem n Larger than life hero; often with super- human characteristics n Concerns eternal human problems like the struggle between good and evil n Presented in a serious manner using elevated (poetic) language n Hero represents widespread national, cultural, or religious values
n intersection between Paganism and Christianity n based on real people n Disputes about the date it was written
High Middle Ages 1066 -1485
William the Conqueror
the High Middle Ages n King John n Richard the Lionheart n the Black Plague, or Black Death n the Hundred Years' War / 1337 to 1453 n 1485, / the Tudors take throne
Who wrote in Middle English? n n the Pearl Poet William Langland The Pearl n Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (a knight of Arthur's Round Table ) n n allegorical poem called Piers Plowman
Middle English Literature (1350 -1485) William Langland (c. 1330 -1387) The Vision of William Concerning Piers the Plowman (1362 An allegorical dream vision divided into three parts, each with a different vision unrhymed, alliterative verse with four stressed beats to each lin It is both a social satire, a satire upon the Catholic church The dreamer, William, beholds a “field full of folk” all before him as he begins his first vision. He encounters Lady Meed, who tries to seduce him, and Holy Church, who also vies for his attention.
Who wrote in Middle English? n John Gower n n poet writing in 1300 s good friends with Chaucer lots of languages Confessio Amantis (The Lover's Confession )
Who wrote in Middle English? n Margery Kempe n Julian of Norwich The Book of Margery Kempe (what it was like to be a woman in the Middle Ages; 14 children ) n a very religious woman (Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love ) n
Julian of Norwich 'All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. ' T. S. Eliot
Sir Thomas Malory (14051471)
Sir Thomas Malory End of Middle English, it's much closer to modern English n Le Morte d'Arthur (Death of Arthur ) (1485) ) Arthur Guinevere Lancelot Morgan Le Fay Mordred n
Sir Thomas Malory Le Morte Darthur Contains much of the Arthurian material used by later English writers. Inspired Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s The Idylls of the King Inspired Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Some call it a precursor to the novel
Whan that aprill with his shoures soote 2: The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, 3: And bathed every veyne in swich licour 4: Of which vertu engendred is 8: Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne, 9: And smale foweles maken melodye, 10: That slepen al the nyght with open ye 1:
Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote When April with its sweet-smelling showers 2 The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, Has pierced the drought of March to the root, 3 And bathed every veyne in swich licour And bathed every vein (of the plants) in such liquid 4 Of which vertu engendred is the flour; By which power the flower is created; 5 Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth When the West Wind also with its sweet breath, 6 Inspired hath in every holt and heeth In every wood and field has breathed life into 7 The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne The tender new leaves, and the young sun 8 Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne, Has run half its course in Aries, 9 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
The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales n in verse n a series of 'tales' n probably unfinished n a frame narrative to set up who all of the characters are, and then the characters each tell stories of their own n vernacular language (language that people speak )
Background of these tales n Geoffrey Chaucer wrote this story in the late 1300’s but never finished it. n He wrote in the native language or vernacular of the Medieval period in Britain called Middle English.
The Story n Twenty nine people that represent all aspects of Medieval society go on a pilgrimage to the cathedral at Canterbury in southeast England.
The story format n Chaucer’s characters are going to pay respects to this shrine as a part of a religious pilgrimage. They all meet at a tavern to begin their journey.
Artistry of Form n Narrative structure allowed Chaucer the freedom to create a variety of matter in a unified form n Many genres incorporated including; – Fabliaux – Chivalric Romance – Melodrama – Parable – Religious Fables – The Beast Fables – And more…
The Knight's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale: Two Approaches to Chivalric Romance
Chivalric Romance n In medieval context, it's an adventure story, starring a knight, usually, going around and doing lots of adventuresome things - sometimes there's dragons, supernatural stuff, etc. n There's often a lovely lady involved in some way as maybe the prize for all of those adventures.
n two cousins - Arcite and Palamon n Emily 'That thurgh a window, thikke of many a barre Of iron greet, and square as any sparre, He cast his eye upon Emelya, And therwithal he bleynte, and creyde 'A!'
The 'Wife Of Bath's Tale' n chivalric romance that is told by a woman instead of a man n five husbands n starts out with a knight (described by Chaucer as a lusty bachelor) raping a young woman
'I grante thee lyf, if thou kanst tellen me What thing is it that women moost desiren'
women want sovereignty over their husbands !!!
The Miller's Tale n a fabliau a medieval genre originating in France n a comic genre characterized by jokes about sex and bodily functions
The Miller's Tale n n John, an old carpenter his wife Alisoun (young and hot ) Nicholas Absolon
The Miller's Tale
The Miller's Tale n but with his mouth he kiste hir naked ers. n this Nicholas non leet fle a fart As greet as it had been a thunder-dent. (he lets fly a fart as big as a thunderclap) Help! Water! Help for Goddes herte!
The Beast Fable n n The Nun's Priest's Tale Travels with another pilgrim, the Prioress beast fable, which is a medieval genre, described animals and assigned particular traits and symbolism to them n with a clear moral n illustrated the human-like characteristics associated with each animal. n the rooster named Chauntecleer, which is French for clear singer n his favorite wife's (1 of 7) name is Pertelote n fox n
n The Prioress's Tale n anti-Semitic n what Chaucer's own attitude is ? ? n seven-year-old boy who's a Christian n the Jewish quarter n the Jews decide to kill him n The Pardoner's Tale n Flemish people are partying, drinking too much and generally sinning … start looking for death
n tales told by pilgrims who were involved in the church. They are quite different, especially in their approach to death. n The Prioress's Tale is about a martyr, someone n In The Pardoner's Tale, death really is a punishment for being a bad person. who dies for religion. He's just a little boy who's singing a song about Mary when the 'evil Jews' get him.
Renaissance Literature (1485 -1660) “Renaissance” means “Rebirth”--Rebirth of interest in the Greek and Latin classics Emphasis on humanistic education for statesmanship Focus on the individual and a concern with the fullest possible cultivation of human potential through proper education; focus on individual consciousness and the Interior mind Concern with the refinement of the language and the development of a national, vernacular literature
Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queene (1590; 1596) A LONG narrative poem, an allegorical epic in six books. Each book contains twelve cantos, each of which contains At least 40 stanza. Each stanza is composed of nine lines. 1 -8 are iambic pentameter, and 9 is iambic hexameter (alexandrine); each stanza is rhymed ababbcbcc. This form is called a Spenserian stanza.