From 1066 on... History and Literature! pp. 50,51,52,53,54
The French conquest! • In 1066 at the Battle of Hastings, the Normans (Norse people who had settled in the north of France) defeated the English and started a centuries-long conquest of England • These Normans were leaded by William the Conqueror
Main effects of the Norman conquest • Introduction of the Feudal system • French becomes official language of politics and power and exerts enormous influence on Old English • England begins unifying under a French political system. The king of France was also the King of England.
Feudal Society • Barons (owners of the lands, loyal to the king) • Knights • Peasants (bound to the land and the lord of the land)
The Domesday Book • To acquire knowledge of his new possessions, William encouraged a survey: properties, lands, animals and people = CENSUS (censimento)! Unique for that time!why? • For fiscal, economical reasons!!!
The Plantagenets: Henry II (1154-1189) • He ruled over England and a large portion of France+ • He married Eleanor of Aquitaine (more french territories!) • Interested in improving the system of justice
Henry II • Constitutions of Clarendon: clergy judged also by the king’s court. • Assassination of Thomas Becket. • Common Law.
Richard I & John Lackland • Richard I - The Lionheart- (1189-1199)interested in personal glory and military expeditions (Third Crusade). He died in France defending the English lands. • John Lackland (1199-1216), his brother. He oppressed the people with excessive taxes.He was forced by the barons to sign the Magna Charta.
1215 Magna Charta • Very important document. • Proposed by the noble barons:The King could not impose new taxes without the barons’ permission. • First step towards a less absolute monarchy!
From Anglo-Norman to Middle English Literature evolutionpp. 68, 70
Changes... • Changes in Language > Changes in Literature. • French: language of the upper-classes for diplomacy, politics and literature (latin too). • Old English > language for laboureres and servants (illiterate).DUALISTIC LINGUISTICAL SITUATION
Changes in Poetry • Metrical system based on alliteration to • metrical system based on regular lines with a precise number of syllables rhymes • New literary taste based on the French fashion: Romances, Chansons de Geste,
Middle English • After a period where literary works were composed in French or Latin, a new national production arose. • It was written in Middle English, the evolution of Old English + French influences + Latin. • Middle English is more similar to contemporary English than Old English
Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) pp. 80,81,82,84,85,86
Life: • Born in London. • Son of a wine merchant. • He worked as a diplomat at court. • He travelled a lot (France, Italy), both during the Hundred Years’ war and after it. • He’s buried in Westminster Abbey.
Literary Production • Chaucer’s Literary production is generally divided into 3 different period. • 1 French period. • 2 Italian period. • 3 ENGLISH period
The Canterbury Tales • One of the first work in Middle English: original English production, no influences from other literatures!!! • It could be undestood and listened by a large portion of people.
What is it? • A collection of stories, contained by a frame (crf. Decameron). • Pilgrimage London - Canterbury • 29 Pilgrims • Each pilgrim tells a story in order to make the pilgrimage less boring.
The Pilgrims • Feudal world: (knight, esquire etc) • Religious world: (nun, priests, friar, prioress) • third group = various (merchants of all kinds, plowman etc) • Chaucer (the poet) is one of them => Chaucer autor/character
The Pilgrims 2 • The Canterbury Tales are important because they give a vivid portrait of the 14th century MIDDLE CLASS or BORGEOISIE. • A new social status which was gaining importance in that period. • Each character is carefully described .
Literary Elements • The Canterbury Tales are written in poetry • Meter: iambic pentameter (unstressed/stressed) • Structure: couplets • Stories: fabliaux, novellas, courtly love,