The Middle Ages and The Canterbury Tales
Estate System <ul><li>1 st : Clergy (those who prayed) </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd : Nobility (those who fought) </li></ul><ul>...
Estate System: Females? <ul><li>Virgin </li></ul><ul><li>Wife </li></ul><ul><li>Widow </li></ul>
Breakdown of the Estate System <ul><li>Mercantile class-urban middle class </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectuals-trained in lite...
Humours Gluttonous, lazy, sentimental Dull, pale, cowardly Violent, vengeful Amorous, happy, generous Melancholic Phlegmat...
Physigonomy Loose, immoral  White neck Intelligence, good breeding High forehead Lechery, drunkenness Pus-filled sores Pas...
Chivalry and Courtly Love:  Ideal but Unreal <ul><li>Chivalry -system of ideals and social codes governing the behavior of...
Knights <ul><li>Honor </li></ul><ul><li>Humility </li></ul><ul><li>Sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of God </li></ul><ul><...
Chivalry and Courtly Love:  Ideal but Unreal <ul><li>Courtly Love: in its ideal form, nonsexual </li></ul><ul><li>Knight m...
Religion <ul><li>Catholic </li></ul><ul><li>Pope </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin Mary </li></ul><ul><li>Indulgences </li></ul><ul...
St. Thomas a Becket
Bubonic Plague <ul><li>Killed 1/3 of Europe’s population </li></ul><ul><li>Medieval society never recovered </li></ul><ul>...
Geoffrey Chaucer <ul><li>1343-1400 </li></ul><ul><li>Father of English poetry </li></ul><ul><li>Why? Made English acceptab...
Geoffrey Chaucer <ul><li>Well-known government official-served under 3 kings </li></ul><ul><li>Sent to Europe as the king’...
Geoffrey Chaucer <ul><li>Chaucer the poet </li></ul><ul><li>Chaucer the pilgrim </li></ul><ul><li>Buried at Westminster Ab...
The Canterbury Tales <ul><li>Pilgrimage </li></ul><ul><li>Southwark </li></ul><ul><li>Tabard Inn </li></ul><ul><li>Canterb...
The General Prologue <ul><li>Begins in April: symbolic time of new life and awakening </li></ul><ul><li>A concise picture ...
Couplets and Iambic Pentameter <ul><li>Couplet : sets of two lines that rhyme </li></ul><ul><li>Whan that Aprille with his...
Themes of the General Prologue <ul><li>Appearance vs. Reality (wel koude) </li></ul><ul><li>Religious hypocrisy </li></ul>...
The Tales <ul><li>24 tales </li></ul><ul><li>Beast fable </li></ul><ul><li>Exemplum </li></ul><ul><li>Breton Lay </li></ul...
Middle English Pronunciation <ul><li>No silent letters—every letter is pronounced: knight, special </li></ul><ul><li>No lo...
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The Middle Ages and The Canterbury Tales

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The Middle Ages and The Canterbury Tales

  1. 1. The Middle Ages and The Canterbury Tales
  2. 2. Estate System <ul><li>1 st : Clergy (those who prayed) </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd : Nobility (those who fought) </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd : Peasantry (those who produce) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Estate System: Females? <ul><li>Virgin </li></ul><ul><li>Wife </li></ul><ul><li>Widow </li></ul>
  4. 4. Breakdown of the Estate System <ul><li>Mercantile class-urban middle class </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectuals-trained in literature and writing but didn’t want a career in the church </li></ul>
  5. 5. Humours Gluttonous, lazy, sentimental Dull, pale, cowardly Violent, vengeful Amorous, happy, generous Melancholic Phlegmatic Choleric Sanguine Cold & Dry Cold & Moist Hot & Dry Hot & Moist Earth Water Fire Air Black Bile Phlegm Yellow Bile Blood
  6. 6. Physigonomy Loose, immoral White neck Intelligence, good breeding High forehead Lechery, drunkenness Pus-filled sores Passion Flaring nostrils Bad temper, irritable Thin Lechery Goat-like Sly Fox-like Dirty Sow-like Strength Ram-like Bold, sexual Gap-teeth Physiognomic Interpretation Physical Characteristic
  7. 7. Chivalry and Courtly Love: Ideal but Unreal <ul><li>Chivalry -system of ideals and social codes governing the behavior of knights and gentlewomen </li></ul><ul><li>Rules of warfare : never attack an unarmed opponent </li></ul><ul><li>Courtly Love : Adoring a lady (not necessarily one’s wife) was seen as a way to achieve self-improvement </li></ul>
  8. 8. Knights <ul><li>Honor </li></ul><ul><li>Humility </li></ul><ul><li>Sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of God </li></ul><ul><li>Faithfulness </li></ul><ul><li>Courage </li></ul><ul><li>Graciousness and courtesy to ladies </li></ul>
  9. 9. Chivalry and Courtly Love: Ideal but Unreal <ul><li>Courtly Love: in its ideal form, nonsexual </li></ul><ul><li>Knight might wear his lady’s colors in battle, might glorify her in words and be inspired by her, but he couldn’t cross the boundary between courtly love and physical love </li></ul><ul><li>Led to an idealized view of women, but did little to improve their actual position </li></ul>
  10. 10. Religion <ul><li>Catholic </li></ul><ul><li>Pope </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin Mary </li></ul><ul><li>Indulgences </li></ul><ul><li>Confession </li></ul><ul><li>Relics </li></ul><ul><li>Monks: obedience, chastity, poverty (self-sufficient) </li></ul><ul><li>Friars (supported by donations) </li></ul>
  11. 11. St. Thomas a Becket
  12. 12. Bubonic Plague <ul><li>Killed 1/3 of Europe’s population </li></ul><ul><li>Medieval society never recovered </li></ul><ul><li>1300s-1600s-continual outbreaks </li></ul><ul><li>Labor shortages: peasants grew unruly and demands higher wages </li></ul><ul><li>Caused people to question religious beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Apocalyptic view of life (doomsday) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Geoffrey Chaucer <ul><li>1343-1400 </li></ul><ul><li>Father of English poetry </li></ul><ul><li>Why? Made English acceptable </li></ul><ul><li>Kingly, royal, regal </li></ul><ul><li>Born into a middle-class family in London </li></ul><ul><li>Father was a wine merchant: $ for education </li></ul>
  14. 14. Geoffrey Chaucer <ul><li>Well-known government official-served under 3 kings </li></ul><ul><li>Sent to Europe as the king’s ambassador (spy?) to France and Italy </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Influences: Dante’s Inferno , Boccaccio’s Decameron </li></ul><ul><li>Rapist? </li></ul><ul><li>“ All I need is a gallon of wine…” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Geoffrey Chaucer <ul><li>Chaucer the poet </li></ul><ul><li>Chaucer the pilgrim </li></ul><ul><li>Buried at Westminster Abbey </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Canterbury Tales <ul><li>Pilgrimage </li></ul><ul><li>Southwark </li></ul><ul><li>Tabard Inn </li></ul><ul><li>Canterbury </li></ul><ul><li>The Contest </li></ul><ul><li>30 pilgrims </li></ul>
  17. 17. The General Prologue <ul><li>Begins in April: symbolic time of new life and awakening </li></ul><ul><li>A concise picture of the entire nation: male & female, learned & ignorant, high & low, old & young </li></ul><ul><li>Portraits </li></ul><ul><li>3 Ideal Portraits </li></ul><ul><li>Frame Narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Estates Satire </li></ul><ul><li>Couplets </li></ul><ul><li>Iambic Pentameter </li></ul>
  18. 18. Couplets and Iambic Pentameter <ul><li>Couplet : sets of two lines that rhyme </li></ul><ul><li>Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote </li></ul><ul><li>The droghte of March hath perced to the roote </li></ul><ul><li>Iamb : unstressed/stressed syllable pattern: ˘/ (the beat) </li></ul><ul><li>Su zanne </li></ul><ul><li>Pentameter : 5 iambs per line </li></ul><ul><li>And bathed every veyne in swich licour </li></ul><ul><li>Iambic Pentameter : 10 syllable line with the unstressed/stressed pattern </li></ul>
  19. 19. Themes of the General Prologue <ul><li>Appearance vs. Reality (wel koude) </li></ul><ul><li>Religious hypocrisy </li></ul><ul><li>Class </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Tales <ul><li>24 tales </li></ul><ul><li>Beast fable </li></ul><ul><li>Exemplum </li></ul><ul><li>Breton Lay </li></ul><ul><li>Courtly Romance </li></ul><ul><li>fabliau </li></ul>
  21. 21. Middle English Pronunciation <ul><li>No silent letters—every letter is pronounced: knight, special </li></ul><ul><li>No long vowels </li></ul><ul><li>Pronounce vowels as you do in French or Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>A= ah father </li></ul><ul><li>E=ay say </li></ul><ul><li>I=ee gee </li></ul><ul><li>O=oh oat </li></ul><ul><li>U=oo who </li></ul><ul><li>Final e=ah sofa </li></ul><ul><li>Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote </li></ul>
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