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Medieval Literature Project
Transcript of Medieval Literature Project
We will be focusing on Medieval literature from Europe. By: Jennifer Brown and Christopher Rinaldo Medieval literature: This video will provide some insight into what our presentation will contain and some brief facts on medieval literature. Genres and Styles of Medieval Literature: Genres:
Religious writings based on the Ten Commandants and the Beatitudes. these were extremely popular as the Roman Catholic Church was the most powerful organization throughout medieval times.
Love stories and romantic poems expressing love, desire and lust. These were not as popular as religious text as love was not seen as a public affair to be talked about at the time.
Books on chivalry and upper class behavior were popular as the rich and powerful desired to behave in a way that showed they were educated and better off then common people.
Traditional stories were also popular as for the first time stories that had been passed down through word of mouth were now being collected and written in books. It was also very popular for authors to modify and add to traditional stories. Styles:
Since written literature was only starting to take root in this time period there were not as many distinct writing styles as there are today.
Literature of the time was written in two distinct styles, rhythmic poetry often with a rhyming scheme and specific rhythm or number of syllables per line and stories that had heroic characters that displayed noble traits.
The poetry of the time was often very long and could be considered an epic poem. This poetry could have a variety of rhyming scheme that varied from verse to verse such as ABABAB or AABBAABB. The poetry also had a rhythm with a set number of syllables in almost every line.
The stories were often long as they had been added to by many different authors throughout time. Each author added his or her own ideas and thus the themes and messages of the stories would change slightly with time. Ideas of the Time that Shaped the Writings: Several majour ideas and concepts dominated medieval writing and literature.
First it is important to understand that very few could read and reading was only for the rich and powerful. As well, only the rich could afford books so common people could not read and likely never came into contact with a book.
Religion shaped most of the writings of the time as it was a dominant force in peoples lives. books based on church teachings would have been to educate the wealth on subjects concerning the church and their salvation.
Specific virtues such as loyalty, bravery, trustworthiness and valor would have been highly regarded in medieval times so character in stories would have portrayed these virtues.
Few people would be influenced by literature and books in this time period and common people could not afford books due to their high price and the even more important that that few people except the rich could actually read and wright. Historical Events: Since the medieval times spans 1000 years from 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D. many events happened that would shape the face of medieval literature.
Crusades, battles, wars and other events that involved fighting or opposing sides would have stories written about it though they may not have been historically accurate and would be swayed heavily by the ruler at the time. Example: Crusaders capture Constantinople. The capture of Constantinople causes a firm Byzantine hatred of the West. Stories would have been written about this event.
Times of peace would have given rise to more intellectual writings and poems and stories based on love.
Important people of medieval times would have included monarchs, popes, knights, the educated and all those in high society such as wealthy land owners and church officials. An Exert form Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Translated from Latin): Example of Medieval Literature Most books from Medieval times were not written in the English that we known today because it did not exists.
Most books were written in Latin as it was known throughout Europe, it was the language of the church and only the educated and wealthy knew how to speak it so commoners were not able to know the knowledge contained within books.
Some books were written in Germanic English (an early form of English) and italian but this was not very common. "Great wonder grew in hall
At his hue most strange to see,
For man and gear and all
Were green as green could be" Important Authors and Works: Few authors actually attached their names to their works and anonymity was the standard in medieval literature.
Most important works that still exists today are religious based and we have encountered many medieval works in our religion and philosophy classes.
Saint Thomas Aquinas created the just war theory which is sill popular and in use today. Also, he wrote many popular bible interpretations.
Dante Alighieri was a popular Italian Poet who wrote the Divine Comedy which is still read by many today. Bibliography: Information:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Art of the Book in the Middle Ages | Timeline of Art History." The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/book/hd_book.htm>.
The Ohio State University. "Middle Ages: Books and Literature." eHistory at OSU. The Ohio State University, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://ehistory.osu.edu/middleages/booksandliterature/overview.cfm>.
University of Calgary. "The End of Europe's Middle Ages - Language & Literature." University of Calgary. Version N/A. The Applied History Research Group, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/endmiddle/FRAMES/langframe.html>.
University of Saint Thomas–Saint Paul. "Medieval Literary Genres." Virtual Medieval Church and Its Writings. University of Saint Thomas–Saint Paul, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/medieval/chaucer/literarygenres.htm>.
W. W. Norton & Company. "The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Middle Ages." W. W. Norton & Company. Version 2. W. W. Norton & Company, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/middleages/review/summary.htm>.
World Press. "Medieval Literature vs. Renaissance Literature." Advanced English. World Press, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://eawrap.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/medieval-literature-vs-renaissance-literature>. video:
Overview of Medieval Literature. Dir. Zach Toombs. Perf. Zach Toombs. Youtube, 2012. Film. Pictures:
N/A. Medieval Books. N.d. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N/A. The Art of the Book in the Middle Ages. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
N/A. medieval Literature. N.d. Cornell University, N/A. Evolution of the Book. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
N/A. Medieval Pictures. 2003. British Library, Europe. Music, literature and illuminated manuscripts. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.