Medieval Period (1066-1485)
1. Feudal System
Ranking of people in pilgrimage.
- Peasants (Vassals)
A peasant received a piece of land in return for serving a lord or king, especially during war. They were also expected to perform various duties in exchange for their own fiefs (areas of land.)
2. Code of Chivalry
- Defend the weak.
- Be courteous to women.
- Be loyal to the king.
- Serve God above all others.
- Be humble.
- Show mercy to the enemy.
- Be truthful & keep one's word.
- Exhibit self-control.
3. Laws of Courtly Love
- Be humble and chaste.
- Don't break up another relationship.
4. Medieval Estates
- Those who pray (church)
- Those who fight (warriors)
- Those who work (merchants)
5. Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly Sins can be memorized using the acronyms PEGSLAW or EGGPALS.
6. Four Humors
- Sanguine causes a person to be cheerful, associated with blood.
- Choleric causes a person to be angry, associated with yellow bile.
- Melancholy causes gloominess, associated with black bile.
- Phlegmatic causes sluggishness and apathy, associated with phlegm.
The relationship between a person's physical appearance and their personality/character. Notably:
- Red hair = quick tempered
- Broad forehead = intelligence
- Gapped teeth = bold/aggressive
- Bulging eyeballs = greedy
8. Notable People
- St. Thomas a' Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury murdered by his followers.
- John Wycliffe translated the Bible from Latin to English.
- Johann Gutenberg was credited with the invention of the movable type printing press.
- William Caxton printed the Canterbury Tales, first English book salesman.
- Thomas Malory is the author of Le Morte d'Arthur, a book of famous tales about King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and The Knights of the Round Table.
9. The Canterbury Tales
Written by Gregory Chaucer, as a collection of 24 tales about 29 people on a pilgrimage to see the shrine of St. Thomas a' Beckett. Referred to as a frame tale (stories within a story) written in rhyming couplets. Each tale is a fabliau, a short story dealing with humor and sexual themes.
- It's April, and everyone meets at the Tabbard Inn in Southwark.
- Each person tells 2 stories on the way there and 2 on the way home.
- The winner is the person with the best story, and everyone has to buy the winner a meal.
Important Characters (TL;DR)
- Knight is true to himself, gentle, wears simple tunic, not obsessed with his appearance
- Squire is the son of Knight, not as serious as his father, focuses on what he's wearing
- Yeoman is a servant fighter, wears green hood & coat
- Nun/Prioress likes manners, pleasant & friendly, sentimental
- Monk is a manly character, hunts, loves women, fat
- Friar is mellow, fixed marriages, highly beloved
- Merchant told stories of how he never lost, great in negotiating
- Oxford Cleric is a student, studies a lot, jobless, spent all money on education
- Sergeant** at law** knows every judgment, case, & crime, very busy man
- Franklin is a wealthy landowner, wears girdle & has satchel
- Cook known for creamy chicken dish, oozing ulcer assumed to make it
- Doctor is a good talker, did not read Bible a lot, wears "blood" (red garment as irony)
- Miller wears a stout (broad/knotty), short shouldered
- Wife of Bath has a noble face, married 5 times, always donated to the poor
- Parson is a clerk, preached Christ's gospel, found sufficiency in little things
- Plowman lived in peace, with perfect charity, and no misfortune
- Reeve is old, chloric, thin
- Summoner has harrow eyes, garland on head
- Pardoner visits court of Rome, yellow hair, bulging eyes, carries a pillowcase
- Host owns a hotel, supplies with food and wine, proposes ideas of telling stories
A tale within The Canterbury Tales. It's the hanging bathtub story.
- Love triangle between Alison, her young naive husband John, Nicholas and Absalon.
- Alison cheats with Nicholas and convinces John that the world is ending with a flood.
- Absolon lusts for Alison and tries to get a kiss but instead gets the rear end.
- Causes Absolon to scream "water" making John think the flood is coming.
- The two have an affair. John looks like an idiot in the process and falls to the ground (fall from innocence) in front of the townspeople.
A tale within The Canterbury Tales, comes after the Physician's Tale.
- 3 young men drink and gamble. Death awaits under oak tree.
- Finds gold under tree, no longer concerned with killing death.
- Moral of they story: Greed is the root of all evil.
- Ironic that the pardoner is greedy!
10. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
- King Authur is the knight of the round table at Camelot.
- Sir Gawain is King Authur's nephew following the Code of Chivalry.
- Tragic flaw: Loves life so much that he will lie to protect it.
- Green Knight is a large muscular figure that challenges round table knights to a battle. Carries a huge axe.
- On New Year's Eve at a feast on the court, a strange figure, the Green Knight stops by challenging any brave representative to a game.
- Green Knight will allow whoever accepts the challenge to strike him with his own axe on the condition that they find him in exactly one year to receive a blow in return.
- Authur initially hesitates but takes the challenge, cutting off the knight's head. The Green Knight picks up his severed head and rides off.
11. Monty Python – Quest of the Holy Grail
Monty Python is a low budget parody movie based on the Quest of Holy Grail that used coconuts to imitate the sound of horses.
- Holy Grail is the cup Jesus drank at the last supper.
- Seat Perilous is the empty seat of the Round Table, reserved for the knight who would be successful in the quest of the Holy Grail.
- Galahad is the son of Sir Lancelot and