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Middle Ages/Canterbury Tales
 

Middle Ages/Canterbury Tales

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    Middle Ages/Canterbury Tales Middle Ages/Canterbury Tales Presentation Transcript

    • TheMiddleAges
      5th-15th century
    • Medieval Government
      Norman Rule ends 1154
      Henry II
      Conflict with the Church
      Thomas Becket = archbishop
      Becket defies king, sides with the Pope
      Henry’s knights murder Becket
      Atone  holy pilgrimage to Becket’s tomb
    • Medieval Government, cont.
      Richard I
      Military expeditions  King John inherits debts
      John
      Tries to raise taxes on barons, resisted
      England on brink of civil war
      Avoiding trouble  Magna Carta
      Promises not to tax land without meeting
      First restrictions on royal power
    • Medieval Literature
      Dramas, poetry, romances, ballads
      Medieval life, knights, love, outlaws
      Dramas:
      Church sponsored plays- Bible stories
      Morality plays  ordinary people, moral lessons
      1454- Printing press  church scribes
      Chaucer = one of first works
      printed in England
    • Geoffrey Chaucer
      1343?-1400
      Considered the greatest English poet in his own lifetime
      Merchant class, father = vintner
      Servant to aristocratic household
      Career administrating just below aristocracy
      Able to observe all kinds of people
      Window overlooking pilgrim road
    • The Canterbury Tales
      Moves literature beyond themes of courtly love and knightly adventures
      Cross-section of medieval society
      Exchange of tales among pilgrims
      journeying to the shine
      of Thomas Becket
      Humor, realism
    • The Prologue
      Tabard Inn, in a suburb of London
      Narrator + 29 other pilgrims
      Inn host, Harry Bailey, sets a challenge
      Each pilgrim must tell 2 stories on the way
      to Canterbury and 2 on the way back. The person
      who tells the best tale will be treated to a feast.
      Pilgrims accept,
      Bailey joins to judge
    • Chaucer’s Characters
      Chaucer writes of rank and stereotypes
      BUT presents them as real people, individuals who defy categorizing
      i.e.: outward appearances suggest one thing, Chaucer reveals some other truth
      e.g.: Outside  Merchant = wealthy
      Inside  Merchant = secretly deep in debt
      Great insight into lives of
      medieval people
    • Social Commentary
      Writing that offers insight into society, its values, and its customs
      Chaucer notes virtues and faults of his characters
      Each character in The Canterbury Tales represents a different segment of society
      Supposed to be 120 tales, only 24 written
    • Characterization
      Direct: presents direct statements about a character
      E.g.: the Knight “followed chivalry / Truth, honor…”
      Indirect: uses actions, thoughts, and dialogue to reveal a character’s personality
      E.g.: “he was not gaily dressed” suggests that the Knight is not vain and takes the pilgrimage seriously enough to rush straight from battle
      “Show vs. Tell” = Indirect vs. Direct
    • Chaucer’s Characterization Example