Middle English Period
For Classes:
Honors English (12) (ELCA)
English 12 (ELCA)

Middle English PeriodEdit

  • Adversity and Confusion
    • Black Death
    • Feudal System
      • A worker based system
      • Commoner were the most likely to get sick
    • Peasants revolt of 1381
      • Shows the rising unrest among the working class
    • The Hundred Years War 1337-1453
      • Established a since of nationalism
    • The Great Schism 1375-1415
      • The Catholic Church faces a rivalry within the church
      • There was no supreme authority for 70 years
      • Three rival popes claim obedience of the church
      • Papal absolutism is challenged by the councils
        • Council claiming they hold the position of the pope
    • The literature reflected the changes of the society.

John Wycliffe (1324-1384)Edit

  • A Catholic Priest
    • Never left the Catholic Church, but disagreed with policy
  • Commissioned traveling preachers with an English Version of the Bible
    • Lollards
  • A College was began in Oxford to combat Lollard heresy.
    • Produced John Wesley, who founded the Methodist Church

Geoffrey ChaucerEdit

  • Used common vernacular.
    • Most greats latin, greek, and french
  • His writings criticized religious hypocrisy
  • Levity with a point
  • Widely traveled
  • Considered with the literary and the moral
  • The Canterbury Tales
    • A anthology of story types
    • A cross section of society
    • Satire – The Act of ridiculing human vices and follies; the word comes from the Greek word satura meaning "medley" or a mixture of things
    • Mockery – Subject of laughter, scorn, or ridicule.
    • Parody – Mocking imitation of a known person, literary work, movie, or event.
    • Mock-Hero – Imitation of the literary epic and its style by exaggeration and distortion and by elevating the trivial to a level higher than it deserves.
    • Sarcasm – Using praise to personally mock someone; the word comes from the Greek word sarkazein meaning "to tear flesh"
    • Verbal Irony – A double meaning; saying one thing and meaning another.
    • Understatement – Implying the opposite by saying less than what you mean.
    • Overstatement – Exaggerating by saying more than you mean to say.
    • Bathos – Going quickly from the sublime or serious to the ridicule or to over sentimentalize.

Thomas Mallory (1408-1471)Edit

  • A Character that lived a life of extremes
    • Combined violent action with sober complication
    • A rascal with moral idealism
    • People believed that a "good" death would erase the scandals of a mans past.
    • Some of the charges may have been trumped up evidence.
  • The Death of Arthur
    • Mallory is to middle English pros what Chaucer was to poetry
    • Mallory is a transitional figure in English.
    • The themes of his story represent the late Medieval and Renaissance conception of Gentility
  • Structure
    • The Thesis is the
      • Proves himself to be worthy by accepting and completing menial degrading serves.
      • He fulfills a knightly mission.
      • The reader sees both humility and fertility
    • The Argument – Set up as a rebuttal
    • The Theme – Concealed worthiness.
    • Key Term – Knight
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