Test 1 (Medieval Ages)

Test 1 (Medieval Ages) - British Literature I Intro to...

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British Literature I Intro to British Literature – Middle Ages The Britons were under many different influences throughout time. Old English Period: 700 – 1066 Middle English Period 1066-1500 Norman Conquest; William the Conqueror: 1066 Celts: Where British recorded history begins Migrated to Britain 400BC Christianity became a strong influence (especially 8 th and 9 th Centuries) Irish Heroic Narratives: The role of women is a more “prominent and assertive role…much like a goddess” Germanic Invasions Plagues and disasters came Old English Poetry: Somber, doom Most writing was in Latin and religious Heroic poetic mode: ( Beowulf) “ bravery, loyalty, vengeance, and desire for treasure” Elegiac poetic mode: calls into question the above values –turns thoughts to heaven Anglo-Saxon women played active roles, especially aristocratic Aethelflaed –co-ruled kingdom Abbess Hilda –founded/ran monastery Marginal role in poetry: play “peaceweavers” Scop: Shaper Oral Poets had a good standing in society. 7 th Century: people started putting things into written format Celt poets were filis. Status similar to that of a Bishop They were honored servants and noblemen of Kings; Medieval Ireland, Whales Books came along – mostly Christian Bible (Latin text) The decoration, illustrations and design of a book meant a lot: added value and interest Around this time came the great cathedrals Cost and effort to make books gave it more prestige The glamour gave a magical sense to manuscripts Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History book Into Middle English: Books became more accessible By 12 th Century: more manuscripts in private hands; production outside of church 14 th Century: Merchants and scholars bought books from shops By this time a giant change occurred: William of Normandy superseded King Edward and successor King Harold. Cataclysmic; brought renovated Latin culture, new government, and new language (Norman French) Normans conquered easily because of the Anglo-Saxon’s being disordered by civil strife Once the English became significant once more (250 yrs later) it was a hybrid of Romance and Germanic elements
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Norman England became a land of documents and books (as opposed to the Anglo-Saxon oral witness and performers) Stories begin to be politicized Adventure, travel, and battle stories begin; Secularization starts Domesday Book: county x county survey of King William’s lands Represented new feudal system 13 th /14 th Century: Royal power played bigger role Three Estates: Secular Aristocrats (2-3% of pop.): Almost all had land, wealth, and power Clergy (7% of pop.): Pope, Bishop, Priests, Monks Free and servile peasantry (90%): Peasants, etc. Landowners were almost a 4 th class, Artisans and Craftsmen Mystical Social Body ---Peasants/Laborers were feet ---Knights were right hand ---Merchants were left hand --- Townspeople were the heart --- Head was made up of kings, princes, and prelates of the church (12 th Century) With the Normans arrival, and afterward, England underwent a lot of intellectual influence. Schools went beyond monasteries, and beyond theology. Interest was
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Test 1 (Medieval Ages) - British Literature I Intro to...

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