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Middle Ages/Canterbury Tales

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Middle Ages/Canterbury Tales

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

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