字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 We now move into the Medieval Period. The Medieval English Period (500 AD-1500 AD) was not the Dark Age historians once defined it to be. The Medieval Period is also known as the Dark Ages, where it is mistakenly said that no learning takes place. The darkness that enveloped England is a result of the invading barbaric tribes and upheaval of law and order. True, having invaders in one’s land would stunt the growth of learning, art, and culture; however, this period was full of accomplishments. It is also a time where courtly love, faith, and loyalty were expressed in duty to those higher in rank. The Dark Ages was a transition time for law and order to come alive and Christianity to entice the tired, devastated English people. A part of the Medieval English Period, the Old English Period (500-1100 AD) begins with what is specifically known as the Anglo-Saxon Period (500 AD through the 8th Century, or 799 AD). The Dark Ages in England can be seen because of the many invasions of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes in 500 AD. These groups of people were also Germanic tribes, which would be the same tribes with whom the Romans were battling to protect their empire. Legend states that King Arthur led resistance to the Anglo-Saxon leaders during this time. However, Arthur lost and fled to the western-most part of Wales and, eventually, to a portion of France known as Brittany, which is where the tales of King Arthur originated, and it could also solidify and add value to the French connection when the Normans conquer the Vikings in 1066. Another significant occurrence in this period is that in 597 AD St. Augustine converts the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, which is important because the monks tended to be the only people who could write, so they would be the ones to record any stories that still existed from oral tradition. The monks, being extremely devout to God, could add subtle elements of Christianity into the text. Although some works, such as Beowulf, written or recorded in the 700s after St. Augustine’s conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, originated in an Anglo-Saxon oral tradition and told by bards who upheld the pagan traditions of the piece, they were recorded by scribes who were Christian, thus the tale most studied today contains many Christian overtones as well as the epic war and gore scenes common to tales told for generations by bards. These gory descriptions exemplify the Anglo-Saxon pagan tradition in descriptive language and Greek pagan ideas to be included in the literature. The people who wrote these epics in the oral sense probably had never read a story composed by Homer since the fall of Constantinople, more than 750 years later in 1453, is when the emergence of Greek texts occurs. It does prove that even though the cultures had different lineage, the values are very similar. It would take the presence of Christianity to tame the gory descriptions in future texts. A little over one-hundred years after the written recording of Beowulf, in 856, the Vikings invaded England and obtained all the kingdom in 870 except Wessex, which was owned by King Alfred. In 878, King Alfred, since he could not defeat the Vikings in battle, negotiated the Treaty of Wedmore, which stated that the Vikings were to accept Christianity and that the kingdom would be divided into two separate halves, Danelaw in the northern portions of the island and English law in the southern portions. During the height of his rule, King Alfred ordered all Anglo-Saxon literature to be written down by scribes in order to preserve the Old English literature. This was a very insightful act on his part since he was able to see the importance of preserving stories that recorded history, culture, and a language. In 1066, William the Conqueror of Normandy defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings, which is the most important event that distinguishes the movements from the Old English Period to the Middle English Period or Norman Period (1066-1500 AD). In conquering the English, the Duke of Normandy brought over a new system of government under which the English would live, called feudalism, and consists of a hierarchical order in which the king, William, rules over his barons, who were members of the French aristocracy and helped him fight in the Battle of Hastings. Image 4: Hierarchy of Feudal Lords They were given portions of land to rule and subjects over whom to rule. These servants were the poor Anglo-Saxons who had been forced into serfdom and were known as villains, or slaves in more modern terms. They were tied to their lord's land for the rest of their lives. They were given shelter and food in return for their labor in the fields on his land. Another system set up by William the Conqueror was an expansion of the language system. Until this point, monosyllabic words or parts of words formed the Anglo-Saxon language. The arrival of the Duke and his men brought new words to incorporate into the existing language to form the beginnings of the language system known as English. Words with French and Latin lineage, such as baron, villain, and literature, were introduced into the language system and broadened English into a more complex language. The royal connections are used in modern times for its titles. From 1070 to 1100, cathedral building began in an attempt to get closer to God. These buildings were large, magnificent buildings that took decades to complete, but were worth it in their aesthetic beauty and homage to God. They also showed the devotion that was being created to religion, God, the arts, and scientific developments that are usually minimized in the Medieval Period. The Renaissance gets the credit for being the most productive and culturally in-tune period, but the Medieval Period holds many crucial accomplishments that catalyze the Renaissance. Again, homage to God is seen in the literature throughout this class. The signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 by King John was a landmark event for treatment of man. The Magna Carta stated that no free man was to be imprisoned or punished except by lawful judgment of his peers and the law of the land. This is one of the many principles the founding fathers of America brought over with them to ensure liberty and justice in the United States and has lived on for hundreds of years. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the King Arthur tales that may have originated in the Anglo-Saxon Period and was written, or published, between 1375 and 1400. Sir Gawain is the perfect, chivalric Christian who is dutiful to his king, country, and, most of all, God. The story undergirds the notions of courtly love and chivalric romance. (See Dr. Wheeler's "Courtly Love" description to place the definition in historical and literary context.) Everyman was written, or published, in 1485. This work, like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, had a Christian focus, but Everyman's focus was a result from the loss of faith in God displayed by Englanders. Although Gawain and Everyman display allegiance to God, several events happened to weaken the allegiance to Rome and the Catholic Church. In 1348-9, the Black Death caused millions to die, and with that died a part of the belief that if there were a God that he could create something as terrible as a plague to kill all of their loved ones. Death was the concern, not heaven. Labor unrest developed in the form of a revolt in 1381. The Peasant’s Revolt consisted of 100,000 peasants who protested in London to demand relief from Richard II. After having promised to help them, Richard II executed the revolt leaders and retracted his agreements, leaving the people unaided. From 1337-1453, the Hundred Years War with France occurred. The splitting of the Holy Roman Empire was a result of more than one man claiming to be the true Pope of the Catholic Church. France had one of the Popes in Avignon from 1308 to 1384 and solidified the anger England felt towards the Catholic Church. During this time (from 1324 to 1384), John Wycliff rebelled against the collection of papal taxes in England. He saw no sense in sending taxes to the Pope if the Church could not decide who the real Pope was. He created his own translation of the Bible in 1382. This chaos of disease and war would harm the foundation of any civilization, and it would also stifle artistic and ideological expression. However, two major changes occurred to catalyze and provide new opportunities and understandings about the world, bringing about the Renaissance. One major invention ends the Middle Ages and transitions history into the next stage, known as the Renaissance. The pivotal transition occurs in Germany in 1440 when Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press, a technology that allowed hundreds of thousands of books to be printed and distributed at a less expensive price. Prior to this invention, monks might work on a book for years before it was finished, elaborately handwritten, ornately decorated, and lined gold. Male religious leaders and the wealthy were literate in Latin and the vernacular English, but the majority of the population was not. After the invention of the printing press, the price of books dropped, literacy rose, and schools flourished all over Europe. The social and religious impact of the Gutenberg press was not entirely positively received, though. Religious leaders thought the invention would bring about the ruin of civilization since people could more easily have access to or afford to purchase the bible, and the stories of the Bible might not be able to be preserved. It was translated into more languages, including vernacular languages deemed lesser than the high form of Latin. It would lead to individuals--not the church--interpreting the guidelines of the bible. Another fear was that the money spent on books would displace the amount of money being given at alms at church, thus leading to less money in the church coffers. For these reasons, the Catholic Church deemed the printing press a tool of the devil. A major military event also catalyzed the Renaissance. The fall of Constantinople in 1453, which brought about the rise in Humanism, which was a result of the mass exodus of Greek scholars from Italy and the Mediterranean region out to France, England, and other countries in Europe and who brought with them ancient Greek texts that would be translated and imitated by Renaissance writers. (More about Humanism will be covered in the Renaissance sections.) The Middle Ages was a time of great literary achievement. This period is when English literature began. In the works for this section of the course, the authors have chosen secular and religious topics, love and adventure, advice and gore, and many topics in between. Some of the greatest English tales were written during the Middle Ages, and students will also note how many and how well the women of this time followed and modeled the norm in literature beyond the Medieval Period. Marie de France, who is the first author studied in this class, is the first example where even one who has not read Beowulf can see these blending of traditions from pagan and Christian worlds. Most Welsh, Celtic, Roman, and Norman art, architecture, stories reflect this Christian acculturation during the Middle Ages, and each of the other female authors show how rich the literature of the Middle Ages was.