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Middle English: 1066-1500. A look to the history behind the literature. William the Bastard becomes William the Conqueror…. In 1066, William the Bastard of Normandy along with his troops conquer Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings.

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Middle english 1066 1500

Middle English: 1066-1500

A look to the history behind the literature


William the bastard becomes william the conqueror
William the Bastard becomes William the Conqueror…

  • In 1066, William the Bastard of Normandy along with his troops conquer Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings.

  • William the Conqueror brings the French Court, French Custom, and French Language to England.

  • The Hybrid of Old English and Old French make up what is today known as: Middle English.

  • Words like: wine, cheese, brother enter the English Lexicon.


What does middle english look and sound like
What does Middle English Look and Sound Like?

  • Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote

  • The droghte of March perced to the roote,

  • And bathed every veyne in swichlicour

  • Of Which vertuengendered is the flour;

  • Whan Zephirus eek with his sweetebreeth

  • Inspired hath in every holt and heeth

  • The tendrecroppes, and the yongesonne

  • Hath in the Ram his halve course yronne

  • And smalefowelesmakenmelodye

  • That slepen all the nyght with open ye

  • So priketh hem nature in his corages

  • Thannelongen folk too goon on pilgrimmages…


It takes a couple hundred years…by Chaucer’s time the two languages are fully integrated into Middle English

  • Geoffrey Chaucer 1343-October 25, 1400

  • The Book of the Duchess, Blanche of Lancaster, and The Canterbury Tales.

  • His works represent Middle English in its form.


The canterbury tales
The Canterbury Tales two languages are fully integrated into Middle English

  • Chaucer did not finish all the books he intended.

  • The Pilgrims were going to visit the shrine of Thomas A Becket (martyred Archbishop of Canterbury on order by King Henry II of England.

  • The Pilgrims walk twenty miles to Canterbury each telling a tale there and back. The best storyteller wins a free dinner.

  • Funny thing is…these people would have never travelled with one another. Why?


The three estates of medieval society
The Three Estates of Medieval Society two languages are fully integrated into Middle English


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