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Background information on the Middle Ages

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Why did Chaucer write the Canterbury Tales in English? ... satirical Story begins in the Spring at Tabard Inn Pilgrims on a voyage to the Shrine of Thomas Becket ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Background information on the Middle Ages


1
The Canterbury Tales
  • Background information on the Middle Ages

2
Canterbury Tales
  • Written by Geoffrey Chaucer - father of English
    poetry (born about 1342)
  • First person to write in the Vernacular middle
    English
  • Insight into all walks of life during the middle
    Ages

3
Language
  • Aristocracy- French
  • Clergy-Latin
  • Commoners English (Middle English)

4
Middle English
5
Canterbury Tales
  • Wanted to educate the masses on the corruption in
    the Church
  • Usually satirical
  • Story begins in the Spring at Tabard Inn
  • Pilgrims on a voyage to the Shrine of Thomas
    Becket (martyr)
  • Each pilgrims tells 2 tales on the way and two
    tales back
  • Host will judge stories

6
Pilgrims
  • The narrator
  • Knight
  • Squire
  • Wife Of Bath
  • The Pardoner
  • The Miller
  • The Prioress
  • The Monk
  • The Friar
  • The Yeoman

7
Characters
8
Characters
9
Chaucers England Social Structure
  • Society was divided into 3 states clergy,
    aristocracy, and the commoners
  • Positions in the hierarchy were well defined
  • Clergy-responsible for peoples spiritual
    well-being
  • Aristocracy- responsible for defending the nation
    through military might.
  • Commoners- laborers and producers

10
Feudal System
  • Included aristocrats and commoners
  • Divided by
  • Lords- owner of land,
  • Vassals- those who rented the land/service to
    lord in exchange for protection
  • Fiefs- name for land exchanged
  • King owned all the land in the country
  • King granted land holdings to aristocratic
    tenants in exchange for military support
  • Aristocrats would grant land holdings to
    commoners in exchange for labor services that
    would allow the lord to cultivate and maintain
    the land

11
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12
Clergy (1.5 ) No one was born into the clergy
  • Aristocrats (upper levels) or commoners (lower
    levels)
  • Regular clergy (monks and friars) the regular
    clergy were male and were sworn to a life of
    celibacy and poverty
  • Secular clergy- parish priests (parsons) and
    clerics.
  • Nuns didnt have the same rights as the male
    clergy

13
Clergy
  • The clergy were expected to take vows of
  • Poverty
  • Chastity
  • Obedience

14
Aristocracy (1)
  • Warrior class or those descended from the warrior
    class.
  • Titled nobility Dukes, Counts, Barons, (Lords)
  • Knights- lacked hereditary titles. Less than
    1,000 in Chaucers England. A burdensome rank.
  • Squires the backbone of the English and French
    armies. Moderate landowners and men of gentle
    birth who were not knighted.

15
Feudalism
16
The Commons (97)
  • Most of Englands Population lived in the country
    side
  • People in the commons were loosely ranked
    according to how much land they had
  • 1) Franklins/Yeoman ( freemen who had more then
    50 acres)
  • 2) Husbandmen/Cotters (free or servile men who
    held 10 to 40 acres)
  • At the bottom of rural society were those who
    held no land and were dependent upon their
    earnings as laborers (plowmen, herdsmen, etc)

17
Religion
  • Being apart of society in the middle ages meant
    being apart of the church
  • Catholic Church- official church
  • All Christians in that part of the World were
    under the authority of the pope

18
The Black Plague
  • 1348 Black Plague reached England and wiped out
    1/3 of the population (3.75 million to 2.25
    million)
  • The sudden collapse of the population sent
    prices skyrocketing (increased the price of labor
    while decreasing the price of land)
  • The overall effect of the Plague was to hasten
    the collapse of feudalism by creating intense
    competition for labor and tenants

19
King Henry II
  • 1133-1189
  • Arrogant King of England
  • Married Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Appointed Thomas Becket as Arch Bishop of
    Canterbury
  • Got in big fight more to come

20
Thomas Beckett
  • Appointed archbishop of Canterbury by King Henry
    2
  • King Henry hoped that Thomas would side with him
    over the pope
  • The Kings plan backfired and Thomas ended up
    taking the side of the Church/pope over the King

21
Saint Thomas a Becket
22
Saint Thomas a Becket
23
Thomas Beckett
  • Murdered in 1170 (Assassinated by followers of
    the King Henry in Canterbury Cathedral)
  • Was canonized as both Saint and martyr following
    his murder
  • The Shrine of Saint Thomas of Beckett became a
    popular destination for religious pilgrimages
    during the Middle Ages

24
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25
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26
Crusades
  • Occurred during the the 11th,12th, and 13th
    centuries
  • A series of military campaigns called by the Pope
  • GOAL of the crusades to restore Christian
    control of the Holy Land
  • Crusades had an enormous influence in Europe
    during the Middle Ages

27
Effects of the Black Plague
  • Resulted in the Rise of the Middle Class
  • Labor became more valuable then land

28
Chivalry
  • Chivalry- system of ideals and behavior that
    governed both knight and gentleman
  • Included things such as
  • - oath of loyalty to overlord
  • - rules of of warfare
  • -adoration of a particular lady (not necessarily
    ones wife)

29
Courtly Love
  • Courtly Love- Belief that acting in the name of a
    lady would help a knight be more brave and
    successful

30
Satire
  • Literary technique in which behaviors or
    institutions are ridiculed for the purpose of
    improving society.
  • What sets satire apart from other forms of social
    and political protest is HUMOR.
  • Satirists use irony and exaggeration to poke fun
    at human faults and foolishness in order to
    correct human behavior

31
Role of Women
  • Peasant Women- clean, bear children, field work
  • Higher Station- supervise housework
  • A woman was always expected to be subservient to
    a male - regardless of relation
  • No political rights

32
Common Satirical Targets
  • Wealthy Greed
  • Politics Vanity
  • Writers Stupidity
  • Vanity
    Hypocrisy
  • Corruption
  • Pursuits of idle wealthy
  • Urban Congestion
  • Arrogance

33
Irony
  • Verbal and situational irony are often used for
    emphasis in the assertion of a truth.
  • Situational- character/reader expects one thing,
    but something else happens
  • Verbal- when a writer/character expects one
    thing, but means another
  • TECHNIQUES hyperbole, understatement, sarcasm

34
REVIEW Middle Ages and Canterbury Tales
  • Why did Chaucer write the Canterbury Tales in
    English? (Middle English)
  • - What was Chaucers purpose for writing the
    Canterbury Tales?

35
Review
  • What makes satire different from other forms of
    political or social protest?

36
Review
  • Who was more powerful, the king or the pope?

37
Review
  • Where are the pilgrims going?

38
Review
  • Why was St. Thomas of Beckett murdered?

39
Canterbury Tales Prologue
  • Prologue STANDS ALONE
  • Does not include the stories that the pilgrims
    tell.
  • Describes all the pilgrims and gives the reader a
    picture into all walks of life during the middle
    ages.
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