paper_2_completed[1] - Paper 2 Medieval Visual Culture AHIS...

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Paper 2 Medieval Visual Culture AHIS 220g Due: Nov 28 th 2006 The Bayeux Tapestry , measuring 19.5 inches wide and 231 feet long, is a large piece of cloth with intricate needlework. The tapestry represents the attack on and victory over England by William the Conqueror in the Battle of Hastings (1066). In this battle, the Normans fought against the Anglo-Saxons and there was a decisive victory by the Normans. The first image on the tapestry is King Edward sending Harold Godwinson to visit Duke William of Normandy and confirm the oath that William would become King of England once Edward died. In the next scene we see Harold sailing across the sea with his men and later being captured by Count Guy. Then the tapestry shows Guy talking to Harold and possibly asking for ransom. Later, William requests the release of Harold and the Count of Ponthieu does so. Harold is taken to Williams’s castle where they discuss matters, and Harold joins William in a battle in which Harold rescues two of William’s men. After this, Harold offers William holy relics as a sign of peace and then leaves for England where he meets the dying King Edward. Here King Edward supposedly gives the throne of England to Harold and then we see King Edward’s body being taken away and buried; Harold’s coronation follows. All these events are extremely important as they lead up to the battle and hence hold an important place on the tapestry. When Count Guy kidnaps Harold he is helpless but William, as a sign of friendship, rescues Harold. Later when William renews his oath to King Edward, through Harold, he is the rightful heir to the English throne. The
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tapestry, being pro-Norman, shows this as these events exemplify the fact that the Normans were right to go to war. It also shows that William was a very kind man who had previously rescued Harold, and that Harold already knew about the oath and turned back on his word hence the conquest of England was imperative. Even if the dying King Edward, out of helplessness, did give the throne to Harold, he should have not accepted it or given it to William as was previously planned. The next event in the tapestry takes us to Normandy where William finds out about Harold’s usurpation of the throne and decides to attack England, building a fleet of ships, which he has filled with weapons and food. William and his army leave for England and when they arrive they go to Hastings where they unload the ships and have a feast. Then William, sitting next to Odo, is informed about the victory of Harold (of England) over Harald (of Norway) at Stamford Bridge. Next we see William leaving for battle and being held back by an English wall of shields. The battle progresses and as the Normans are losing William’s men think that he is dead, but later William removes his
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paper_2_completed[1] - Paper 2 Medieval Visual Culture AHIS...

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