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Canterbury Tales Mid

Study Guide

Middle English Period - Medieval Period 1066-1485 AD
Feudalism a system of political organization where all land ultimately belonged to the king
Barons members of the nobility to whom the King granted large tracts of land
Serfs peasants, villeins, the bottom of the social order, a class of bondsmen
Freeman a social class which included merchants, traders, laborers, and artisans
Vassalage the idea that each person is bound by a system of loyalties to some person higher in social class; example, Serf is vassal to nobleman, who is vassal to a duke, who is vassal to an earl, who is vassal to the King
Vassal servant
Chivalry comes from French word cheval meaning horse, reflects the fact that knights fought on horseback; code of knightly behavior which included loyalty and valor on and off battlefield, pledged service and deep respect to a lady
Courtly love the idealization of women and of the knights' faithful service to them formed the main code of behavior between women and their suitors; idea started in France and spread to England in 12th Century
Normandy land of the north men, area on the northern coast of France that was invaded by the Danes
Duke of Normandy William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror in 1066 invaded England from Normandy; took over the English throne by defeating King Harold II who had succeeded Edward the Confessor
Battle of Hastings 1066 - William the Conqueror versus Harold II
Norman French language that was spoken by the people of the court and the nobles after the Norman Conquest; it suppressed the development of the English language during this time because it was only spoken by the poor or uneducated people
St Thomas a Becket Archbishop of Canterbury in 1170 who was murdered by Loyal Barons of King Henry II; the shrine of this saint was the site to which the pilgrims in The Cantebury Tales were journeying
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table most famous and lasting English romances about this legendary king and his knights
Ballads songs of the common people gathered by scholars from oral tradition, simple narratives in four-line stanzas that acted as entertainment and as records of events like the legend of Robin Hood's life
Mystery plays told stories from the Bible
Miracle plays told stories from the lives of saints
Morality plays represented abstract virtues and vices through characters
Parliament legislative government that was a representative ruling body
Magna Carta - great charter document that limited rights of the king and made him subject to rulings of Parliament and guaranteed trial by jury of peers
Black Death bubonic plague, killed one-third of England's inhabitants in mid-1300s
John Wycliff religious reformer who did first complete translation of Bible into English so that ordinary people could read and interpret text on their own
War of the Roses civil war between two noble English houses - House of Lancaster, crest with red rose, fought against House of York, crest with rose; was lasted 30 years, ended with defeat of Richard III of House of Lancaster by Henry Tabor, who became King Henry VII
Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400) public servant and poet - most important writer of Middle English Period; author of The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer, collection of tales written around a frame story; Chaucer planned to write 124 tales; however, only 24 were completed before his death
Frame story/tale a story that itself provides a vehicle for the telling of other stories; EX: Wizard Oz - the frame story is Dorothy, Auntie Em, and Uncle Henry; other story is Dorothy in Oz with Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin Man.
The Prologue of The Canterbury Tales is a frame story about each of the pilgrims going on a journey; the other stories are the tales that the pilgrims tell
The Tabard the hostelry, hotel, or inn in which the pilgrims all meet before their pilgrimage
Pilgrim a person who went on a religious journey
Pilgrimage a journey or trip for a religious purpose (usually for religious renewal)
Created by: rierei1971



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