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The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales. By: Geoffrey Chaucer. Who is Geoffrey Chaucer?. Author of The Canterbury Tales Known as the Father of English literature

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The Canterbury Tales

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  1. The Canterbury Tales By: Geoffrey Chaucer

  2. Who is Geoffrey Chaucer? • Author of TheCanterburyTales • Known as the Father of English literature • Chaucer’s contribution to English literature was his use of English in courtpoetry; most authors during his time were still writing in Anglo-Norman or Latin

  3. What are TheCanterburyTales? • One of the greatest epic works of English literature • Collection of stories told by pilgrims on a pilgrimage

  4. Literary Terms You Need to Know • Satire:A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision(ridicule/mockery), or wit • Irony: A technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated • Ballad: A narrative poem, often of folk origin and intended to be sung, consisting of simple stanzas and usually having a refrain • Vernacular: The standard native language of a country or locality

  5. More Terms • Chivalry:The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women • Courtly Love:An idealized and often illicit form of love celebrated in the literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in which a knight or courtier devotes himself to a noblewoman who is usually married and feigns indifference to preserve her reputation • Physiognomy:The art of judging human character from facial features

  6. Terms Continued • Verisimilitude: Something that has the appearance of being true or real • Couplet: A unit of verse consisting of two successive lines, usually rhyming and having the same meter and often forming a complete thought or syntactic unit • Crusade: A vigorous concerted movement for a cause or against an abuse

  7. William the Conqueror • King of England (1066–1087) and Dukeof Normandy (1035–1087) • Led the Norman invasion of England (1066) after being promised the English throne by his cousin Edward the Confessor • Defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings • As king adopted a feudal constitution and made some big changes. • Replaced native Anglo-Saxon aristocrats with Normans • Major changes in culture, language, and the church • Forged ties with France/loosened ties with Scandinavia • Built foundation for later medieval English kingdom • Controversial

  8. Background Information • Domesday Book: The written record of a census and survey of English landowners and their property made by order of William the Conqueror in 1085–1086 (“Day of Judgement”-it was law) • Feudalism:Feudalism is a system of land ownership and duties. It was used in the Middle Ages. Under feudalism, all the land in a kingdom was the king's. However, the king would give some of the land to the lords or nobles who fought for him. These presents of land were called manors. Then the nobles gave some of their land to vassals. The vassals then had to do duties for the nobles. The lands of vassals were called fiefs. Point of reference=taxes not paid with money, but with products/services

  9. Sir Thomas Becket • English Roman Catholic martyr • Fell into disfavor with the kingas archbishop of Canterbury • Charged with misappropriating crown funds (1164), he fled the country • Upon his return (1170) he was murdered by four knights in Canterbury Cathedral • Canonized in 1173

  10. More Background Information • Black Death: An outbreak of bubonic plague that was pandemic throughout Europe and much of Asia in the 14th century • Impressionism: A literary style characterized by the use of details and mental associations to evoke subjective and sensory impressions rather than the re-creation of objective reality

  11. Being a Knight • When a high born boy reached the age of seven, he was sent to live in the castle of another lord, usually a close friend of his father's or relative. • There he began his education as a page, running errands in the castle and performing humble services for noblemen and ladies. • He learned good manners, reading, writing, numbers, singing, dancing, strumming the lute, reverence for God, how to use a sword, and how to ride a horse. • In the morning, he helped his lord dress, and served at meals, bringing in food and drink.

  12. Being a Knight Continued • Around the age of 13, the boy was apprenticed to a knight and became a squire. • When the squire was judged ready to become a knight, usually between 18 and 21, a time for the knighting ceremony was set. • This was just the beginning of the young man's career as a knight. • Knights protected the lord's lands from invaders and fought in the lord's battles against other lords.

  13. Knight’s Apparel • A knight had many pounds of armor that he had to wear to protect himself from arrows and enemies swords • The armor was put on by one or more squires or pages • The knight also used a metal or wood shield to ward off enemies blows during a battle • This shield was carried on one arm, usually the left, and the sword was carried with the other

  14. Knight’s Apparel Continued • Once they were dressed in armor, knights all looked the same. • In order to keep from killing their comrades, knights painted colorful designs on their armor, shields, and weapons. • These designs were unique to each knight and provided means of identification during battle. • A knight usually wanted to marry. Like most marriages during the Middle Ages, these marriages were arranged to the advantage of both parties. • A knight wanted a wife who would be an heiress or would have a large dowry, that would include land or enough money to buy land. • When the knight was away from home, the wife would look after the running of his castles and estates.

  15. Romance • Women in the Middle Ages were usually treated as property • While medieval country marriages were often the result of love, marriage among the noble class was more a business transaction than the culmination of ardent feelings • Passion was considered sinful to 11th and 12th century moralists, but these ideals were slowly being worn away with the rituals of courtly love.

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