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.
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“Power 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 Distribution of Power
Lords, barons, and vassals
Serfs, villains, and peasants
Where do WOMEN fit?!
The Catholic Church was the only church in Europe, and it had its own hierarchy, code of laws, and coffers.
Monks and Nuns
Most homes were cold and damp and had very small windows for security purposes.
Clothing consisted of woolen habits dyed particular colors to designate religious orders.
Clothing is fashionable with brighter colors, better materials, and longer jackets.
Most wore woolen outer garments with linen undergarments.
Outer clothes were almost never laundered and smelled of smoke, but linen undergarments were washed regularly.
By the Pearl Poet
3 Subjects or “Matters”
Examples: Morted’Arthur& The Odyssey
Scope: Individualistic (one person’s crisis)
Motive: Desire for adventure or for personal gratification
1. Heterosexual love/women
2. Supernatural elements/mysterious atmosphere
3. Fantasy/vague atmosphere
Mode: Symbolic (Light on message, heavy on art)
Examples: Illiad, Beowulf, Aneid, El Cid, & Paradise Lost
1. Emphasis on war/ male friendship
3. Historical/concrete geography
Mode: Literal because already addressing universal social issues
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the product of 3 medieval institutions or foundations:
Poem is about 200 yrs. archaic, deliberately – golden age of chivalry, now (the date of the poem’s composition) in the state of decay – Gawain exemplifies both ideals of knighthood
Developed partly out of the cult of Mary, which elevated women
Rules of Courtly Love
The Medieval Church
Poem 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.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is made up of three intertwined traditional plots (all designed to test the worth of the Christian knight):
A knight was constantly on the quest for perfection – one should seek to imitate Christ.
By Geoffrey Chaucer
The Journey to
By Sir Thomas Malory