- Slides: 15
Medieval Period “The Middle Ages” 1066 -1485 The history of our English Language can be divided into 3 periods: 1. 2. 3. Old English (before 1066) Middle English (1066 -1485) Modern English (1485 -present)
Language in Transition “Middle Ages” l Around the year 1000, Old English pronunciation changed when distinct vowel sounds at the ends of words were being dropped. l Middle English differed from Old English in its greater reliance upon fewer plural forms.
Language in Transition “Middle Ages” l Middle English was a more analytical language. l l Stressed word order/syntax Incorporated “function” words—verbs
French Invade England October of 1066 v Leading Normandy was Duke William or “William the Conqueror”, who defeated and killed the last Anglo-Saxon king. This was the beginning of the Norman Conquest.
Norman Conquest l The Norman Conquest radically changed: l English History English Character English Language l l
William the Conqueror is known for three accomplishments: 1. Creating the Domesday Book which was an inventory of every piece of property in England. 2. Bringing the French language to England v v v Creating a bilingual society Upper-Class: spoke French Lower-Class: spoke English 3. Social System known as Feudalism
Feudalism & Knighthood v Feudalism Religious concept of hierarchy. GOD KING BARON VASSAL KNIGHTS SERFS
2 Major impacts on England as a result of the Feudal System: Form and Manners v Form—better known as knighthood. v The institution of knighthood was firmly based on the ideas of loyalty. v We will see this clearly in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He is honor-bound to accept a challenge that he knows could bring death.
2 nd major impact that the feudal system had on England: v Ø Manners Code of Chivalry—Courtly Love A system of ideas and behavior codes that governed both knight and gentlewoman.
Three aspects that make up the Code of Chivalry Loyalty to Lord 1. Ø Your oath, honor, and respect went directly to your lord. 2. Warfare Rule Ø Idea of Fairness 3. Courtly Love Ø Men--mostly the knights-idolized women. They would show this by wearing the colors of their lady in battle, to glorify her. This love for a woman was thought to make the knight a better fighter. They were inspired by women.
ROMANCE l Courtly Love provided ‘built-in’ drama for a poet or storyteller. l It brought about the form of literature known as a ROMANCE: a medieval story in verse form in which a brave knight must overcome great danger for the love of a noble lady or higher idea.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight v Composed around 1370 v An unknown author transformed the popular romance into great art. 1. An alliterative romance poem. (Legend) 2. Quest—in which the hero undertakes a perilous journey in search of something of great value. v v Basic narrative pattern of a romance: Hero 3. Supernatural event
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight l In Sir Gawain you will see the pull of sexual temptation and of life in the medieval castle. l Gawain is the model of the chivalric hero whose character is being tested on: l l l Courage Fidelity Morality
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight l Purpose of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: teach us a moral lesson. l Theme: To achieve nobility human beings must rely on the constant practice of a number of virtues such as: l l l Courage Honesty Self-sacrifice
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Ø Setting (time) The mythical past of King Arthur’s Court. Ø Setting (place) Camelot; the wilderness; Bertilak’s castle; the Green Chapel. Ø Motifs The seasons; games