English Literature. The Anglo-Saxon & The Medieval Period (Old English and Middle English). The Celts in Britain. Before and during the 4th century B.C. Britain home to several Celtic tribes Britain named for one Celtic tribe—the Brythons The other tribe-the Gaels-settled in Ireland
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The Anglo-Saxon &
The Medieval Period
(Old English and Middle English)
Before and during the 4th century B.C.
Woden--father of the gods
Beowulf battles Grendel’s mother
-Organizes the Britons to counter attacks by Vikings
-Considered first true king of the Britons
King Alfred brings an age of prosperity
-the 3rd language is introduced—French
-French culture and French literature arrives
Spreads along trade routes
Kills 1/3 to 1/2 of the population
Plague outbreaks occur through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance
Latin -- church, schools
French -- court, castle
English -- commoners
The White Tower in London…
part of William’s legacy
What was it like to live in the Middle Ages?Some Overarching Principles that Governed Medieval Life
Estates viewed as the natural order of society:
A peasant renews his oath of loyalty to his lord.
The idea of Fortune spinning her wheel was one of the most pervasive ideas throughout the Middle Ages.
On the wheel are depicted four figures:
-one on the left (I shall reign)
-one on top (I reign)
-one on the right (I have reigned)
-one on the bottom (I am without a kingdom)
Imagine a sphere that encloses another that holds another that holds yet another…and continues into heaven…
It is a commonly held myth that people of the Medieval period thought the Earth was flat…FALSE!
It was round, but at the center of the universe!
So what! Well, the people of the Medieval period loved order! Remember the Three Estates, the Seven Deadly Sins—a place for everyone and everyone in that place.
I thought this was an English class!
Literature During the Medieval Period
The knight's love for the lady inspires him to do great deeds, in order to be worthy of her love or to win her favor.
The lady is typically older, married, and of higher social status than the knight because she was modeled on the wife of the feudal lord, who might naturally become the focus of the young, unmarried knights' desire.
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.
The "symptoms" of love were described as as if it were a sickness.
The "lovesick" knight’s typical symptoms: sighing, turning pale, turning red, fever, inability to sleep, eat or drink.
Is often of divine descent endowed with great strength and ability" or "a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities"