The Medieval Era By: David Bogaert, Jack Roberts, Kaitlyn Snype and Darnell Willis AP Literature and Composition, p. 10-11
A Brief overview • The Medieval Timeline begins at about 500 A.D. around the time Rome fell and ends around 1500 A.D. • There were many divisions in the church the biggest being the East –West schism in 1054 and the protestant reformation in 1517 • The Catholic Church played a huge role in the medieval time period. It was one of the main religions of the time and was very powerful in Europe. The church helped spread literacy and art and create hospitals. The church, however, also played a part in the crusades and inquisition. • Most of the work in the medieval period was written in Latin as that was the church’s main language and the empire of the Romans was far reaching • Beowulf an epic poem was written somewhere around the 8th to 11th century • in 1400 Johannes Gutenberg completed his wooden printing press revolutionizing the spread of knowledge by cheaper and faster means of reproduction
Culture • Culture is one that is very pervasive in the medieval time period, it was also something that was blended together and reshaped during this time period. Through writings and artwork we can see the development of culture and the role it has on these things. • In Medieval Europe people identified closely with their customs and beliefs and at that time they were also changing
Culture (cont.) • Because religion was so important, many people identified closely by turning to their faith. Some, however, refused to accept Christianity, hence the clashing of customs, tradition and opinion. • Can you see this in the poem? If so, how? Turn to a partner and share your findings. • Why is culture so important when it comes to literature? Does this influence the writings we find throughout history?
Religion • Christianity became the main religion during the time before Rome fell. • In the crusades medieval literature was spread during missionary work. Groups that were influenced were Pagans, Muslims and Jews. • Many stories that were originally Pagan were changed to more Christian views because of religious issues. • The Church was so powerful that they were able to control the publication of books and even the making of laws.
Religion (cont.) • Art was also influenced by Christianity, and some Christians were suspicious of the practice of “imaging the divine” (showing Jesus in a form of art). This lead to the banning of certain images. • Many images like this were banned from being created, and many similar to these were destroyed. This however did not stop artists from creating icons like these. • Much like art, literature was under a microscope, and heavily influenced by the Christian faith.
Religion (cont.) • Many works included the Seven Deadly Sins, The Ten Commandments, The Eight Joys of Grace and many other religious tales. Most of these were on sin, and avoiding Hell. How can we see this in the poem? • Some famous works are Dante’s Inferno, Mannyng’sHandlyngSynne, and Gower’s ConfessioAmantis
Development of the English Language • English developed as a language after new sounds, words and syntax started arising. • Old English developed into Middle English, which was influenced in large part by Anglo-Norman French. • For example, OE speakers would use both the sounds of “f” and “v” for the letter “f” (“Aefre” was pronounced “ever”) • Along with the changing language, writers had to adjust their language to comply with the developing of Middle English.
Development of the english language (cont.) • Though French and Latin were the language of education and literature in many European countries, many writers choose to write in English (Chaucer wrote Canterbury Tales in English). • Multiple authors wrote their works in Latin, then translated them to English themselves as Old and Middle English developed
Development of English language (cont.) • This is the first stanza of Truth exactly the way is was written: • Flefro the pres, and dwelle with sothefastnesse,Suffise thin owen thing, thei it be smal;For hord hath hate, and clymbyngtykelnesse,Prees hath envye, and weleblentoveral.Savour no more thanne the byhoveschal;Reuleweelthiself, that other folk canst reede;And troutheschaldelyvere, it is no drede. • Turn to a neighbor and discuss the English language used in this text. What do you notice about the diction? Syntax? Punctuation?
Chivalry • Chivalry was a basic code of conduct which was bestowed upon the knights of this era. • Knights were truthful, honorable, generous, and wise individuals • Started to set the foundation of what true gentlemen behaved as. • 3 main aspects of knighthood chivalry- warrior chivalry, religious chivalry, courtly love chivalry
Chivalry • Honor and strength were reoccurring themes in literature during this era. Knighthood was among the most valued of honors. • `There was a Knight, a most distinguished man, Who from the day on which he first began, To ride abroad had followed chivalry, Truth, honor, generousness and courtesy ... And though so much distinguished, he was wise, And in his bearing modest as a maid, He never yet a boorish thing had said In all his life to any, come what might: He was a true, a perfect gentle-knight` (lines 43 - 68) • Answer the question on your note sheet individually, then turn to a partner and discuss your ideas.
Archetype • A universally known understood symbol, idea or character on which others are copied and patterned. • Three main themes of Archetypes were: • The hero • Battle Between Good and Evil • Light vs. Darkness • Can you find these themes in the poem? Where? Look beyond the literal meaning of this poem.
Poetry • Medival poetry types: Ballads and epics • Themes: courtly love and religious devotion • Much of this poetry was composed in verses that were set to music, and some performers also sang these romantic poems a cappella instead of simply reciting them. Medieval poetry about courtly love is considered one of the first appearances of romantic passion ideals in literature.
Poetry (cont.) • Many poems have been lost, however there is a collection of 254 poems called CarminaBuriana. • CarminaBurianais made up of • 55 songs of morals and mockery • 131 love songs • 40 drinking and gaming songs • two longer spiritual theater pieces • What themes did you find in this poem? Which of these four categories would you put Truth under? Why?
Works Cited • "Geoffrey Chaucer Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. • "Knighthood and Chivalry in War and Peacetime during the." Medieval Era. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013 • "Medieval Literature, Arts, and Humanities." Medieval Literature, Arts, and Humanities. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2013. • "The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Middle Ages: Introduction." The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Middle Ages: Introduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. • "Periods: Medieval." Medieval Period. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2013. • Tansey, Richard. "The Byzantines: Iconoclasm." Gardener's Art Through the Ages. [S.l.]: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.