Test on January 18 1066-1485
The End of the Anglo-Saxons • In October of 1066, Duke William of Normandy, William the Conqueror, defeated and killed King Harold of England, the last Anglo-Saxon king.
Who was William the Conqueror? • Duke William was the illegitimate son of the previous Duke of Normandy. • He was also the cousin to King Edward of England. • When King Edward, Edward the confessor, died, William thought he would be named king of England. • When Harold was named king instead, William left Normandy to claim the throne he thought was rightfully his.
What is William’s contribution to the English language and literature? • William did not want to defeat England; he wanted to rule it. • He combined his French language with the language already established by the Anglo-Saxons. • He brought order to England. He created the Domesday book and brought law and order. The domesday book recorded what people owned, so their taxes could now be based on their status.
From Nordic Structure to Feudalism • What do you remember about the social structure described in Beowulf? • William gave his Norman friends land and titles in England. These men and their families set up feudalism in England.
Feudalism • Feudalism- the economic, political, and social system of medieval Europe. It consisted of: • The King • Feudal lords- powerful landowners (land was appointed by the king) • Vassals- people who did work or military service for the feudal lords in exchange for land • Serfs- servants to the lords and vassals who were bound to their masters’ land
Interested in Feudalism? • Do a little research into the Pastons’ letters.
Problems with the Feudal System • Knights often would refuse to honor their obligations to the lords once they had their castles.
Knights in Shining Armor • Manners were very important to the feudal • system. • Knights practiced knighthood and chivalry • The primary duty of all men above the status • of serf was to provide military service to their • lords. • Boys were trained in someone else’s house to be sure the training was strict. • When they completed training, they were tapped and given the name “sir”.
Interesting Fact… Sir Elton John Hold me closer, tiny dancer!
The Armor of the Knight • Early Middle Ages- helmet, shield and mail shirt This is the armor of Beowulf too.
New Armor • When the crossbow was invented armor became much heavier. • Knights wore a heavily padded undergarment • A mail shirt • And plates covered the arm, leg, foot, and chest. • Some armor suits weighed up to 120 pounds and had 200 custom fitted plates
Problems with the Armor… • The use of the armor was sometimes fatal causing: • Suffocation • Heart failure • Drowning • Heat stroke (very little ventilation other than the slit at the eyes)
Problems with the armor… • Armor was very expensive • A knight would also have to be able to afford a pack horse to carry the armor and servants to help him dress. • The servants would also be responsible for helping the knight up if he fell on his back in battle. • Knights would usually schedule • battles in advance so everyone • could get dressed.
Problems with the armor… • In the early years, knights were considered secure from harm in battle, but with the invention of the crossbow and the musket, the knights began competing almost solely in exhibitions.
The Knightly Code of Chivalry • Chivalric code has been modified in time, but it still exists today. • One idea of the chivalric code is “women and children first.” • This idea was used when loading lifeboats during the Titanic crash.
Other ideas of chivalry… • Chivalry- a system of ideals and social codes governing the behavior of knights and gentlewomen • Be loyal to your overlord • Never attack an unarmed opponent • Adore a lady – not necessarily your wife
Courtly Love • They believed that adoring a lady would make a knight braver and nobler • Courtly love was nonsexual • A knight would wear her colors in battle • He would write poetry or songs for her • She must remain pure and out of his reach • This is the idea found in King Arthur between Lancelot and Guinevere.
Women in Medieval Society • Women had no rights. They were subservient to their husbands. • Her husband’s or father’s social standing determined the respect she received. • The Church also regarded women as inferior.
Romance • Chivalry idealized the woman but did not bring her power. • Her power had to do with the amount of land she brought to a marriage. • The romance novel came about during this time due to the idea of chivalry. • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Lord of the Rings are examples of this type of romance. Not this kind of romance story
City Classes • Originally the feudal system centered around the castle, but as populations grew so did cities and towns making the feudal system obsolete. • Cities and towns had similar social classes to today – upper, middle, and lower • Many of Chaucer’s characters do not serve the feudal lord. They are city people. • The new merchant class changed the arts to make them more “for the people”
Great Happenings… • The Crusades – Bloodbath over the Holy Land • The Martyrdom of Thomas a Becket – Murder in the Cathedral • The Magna Carta – Power to (some of) the people • The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) – The Arrow is Mightier than the Armor • The Black Death- bubonic plague
The Crusades • Chaucer’s Knight – The knight’s adventures are part of the Crusades • Crusades- a series of holy wars waged by European Christians against Muslims • Pope Urban II said it was the Christian’s duty to wage war against the Muslims to lead them out of Jerusalem • It was disastrous! But, the Europeans benefited from their contact with the sophisticated Middle East.
Thomas a Becket • Chaucer’s characters are traveling to the shrine of Thomas a Becket • All Christians belonged to the Catholic Church at this time, so the Pope was more powerful than the king. • King Henry II appointed Thomas a Becket archbishop of Canterbury. This made Becket head of the Catholic Church in England, and King Henry hoped it would give him an upper hand is disagreements with the Church. • Thomas took the Pope’s side over Henry’s several times, and when Henry complained, some of his knights took it upon themselves to murder Thomas in his own Church. • The public was outraged at Henry and Thomas became a Saint.
Thomas a Becket, King Henry, and Canterbury Tales • When the people turned against Henry II, there was no one to enforce order amongst the people and the Church • The monk lives a life of luxury despite all of the poor surrounding him • The Friar chases women and money • The Summoner and Pardoner blackmail people with threats of eternal damnation
The Magna Carta • King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215. • King John is the king in what famous legend? • English barons forced King John to sign the document. These aristocrats had no interest in the rights of the common people, but the document did create rights for some people. • Some of the rights first created in the Magna Carta include: • Right to trial by jury • Right to a speedy and fair trial • Right to equal justice under law
The Hundred Years’ War • England v. France • The war was over rights to the throne • This war ended the ideal of the knight as the yeoman became a more prominent figure in the war. • This starts the end of feudalism.
The Black Death • A bubonic plague (1348-1349) • Spread by fleas from infected rats • Reduced the nation’s population by 1/3 • There was now a shortage of labor, so the serfs had power. • Serfs gained freedom and feudalism was dead.
Why is Chaucer important? • Chaucer made the English language respectable. • Ordinary people spoke Middle English, but the language of literature, learning, and religion was still Latin. • Great writers did not think it was fashionable to write in English. • CHAUCER WROTE IN VERNACULAR. He wrote like the people spoke.
Canterbury Tales • Chaucer was very prominent and during his travels was likely influenced by Dante and Petrarch. • Canterbury Tales is an unfinished work. • What makes Chaucer so GREAT? • Iambic Pentameter • First writer placed in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Looking at the Tale Itself • Canterbury Tales is a great illustration of Medieval life because the characters are from all walks of life. • The characters are all traveling together to Thomas a Becket’s shrine.
The Frame Story • They will travel 55 miles on horseback in the spring. • Many believe that the narrator is Chaucer himself. • The narrator meets 29 pilgrims at an inn. • The host at the inn suggests they sit around the fire and tell stories.