Elements of Literature Sixth Course European Literature from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment Introduction

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Elements of Literature Sixth Course European Literature from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment Introduction Powered By Docstoc
					        European Literature from the
      Middle Ages to the Enlightenment
          Introduction to the Historic Period

Feature Menu
               Interactive Time Line
                 Milestone: The Growth of Literacy
                 Milestone: Chivalry and Courtly Love
                 Milestone: The Protestant Reformation
                 Milestone: The Scientific Method
                 Milestone: The Spark of Revolution
               What Have You Learned?
          European Literature from the
        Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

Choose a link on the time line to go to a milestone.

                            c. 1300s-c. 1700s
                            Scientific Method
Growth of Literacy

 1000         1200            1400            1600    1800

                     c. 1300-c. 1500
                     Protestant Reformation
 c. 1000-c. 1300                          c. 1600-c. 1800
 Chivalry and Courtly Love                Spark of Revolution
            The Growth of Literacy


Middle Ages follow fall of the Western
Roman Empire
Classical Greek and Roman
learning preserved only in
  • Byzantine Empire
    (Eastern Roman
  • Monasteries in             Abbazia di Sant’ Antimo,
    western Europe             Tuscany, Italy
            The Growth of Literacy


 Latin is the language of the Church
• Clergy among few who can read and write
• Manuscripts—books copied by hand
• Writing mostly about religion, philosophy

• Also chronicles—records of daily events
           The Growth of Literacy

Universities established in
Paris, Bologna, Cologne,
Oxford, and Salamanca
 • Latin makes exchange of
   learning easier

Expansion of literacy           New College Lane,
 • Use of vernacular (native)   Oxford, England
   languages in literature
             The Growth of Literacy

Epic Deeds
Minstrels sing or chant about epic heroes

               • Epics glorify physical strength,
                 courage, loyalty

               • Epics celebrate warriors who
                 defeat evil and restore order

 • Some epics have historical basis; others about
   gods or mythic heroes
             The Growth of Literacy
Epic Deeds
8th century
Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf
c. 1200
German Nibelungenlied composed
from much older tales
12th-15th centuries
French trouvères (troo VERZ)
compose, sing chansons de
geste (“songs of deeds”)
    e.g. The Song of Roland
            The Growth of Literacy

Medieval Drama
 Religious plays popular with mostly illiterate
  • Miracle plays—lives of saints

  • Mystery plays—biblical events

  • Morality plays—sermons or teachings

 Characters allegorical, abstract (Truth, Mercy)
           The Growth of Literacy

Johann Gutenberg
In Germany, Gutenberg (c. 1400-1468) publishes
Europe’s first printed book around 1455.

• Gutenberg Bible
  (in Latin)

• Printing technology
  resisted by Church

• By 1500s, books
  have become cheap     Gutenberg Bible, Volume 1, Old
  and plentiful           Testament, Book of Judges
          Chivalry and Courtly Love

c. 1000-c. 1300
Chivalry begins as a military code of behavior
   • Serve God
   • Be loyal to knight’s lord
   • Be fair to opponents
   • Be honorable, humble, kind, generous

 Chivalry helps to civilize the competitive, brutal
 world of the Middle Ages.
          Chivalry and Courtly Love

c. 1000-1300
 Chivalric ideals expressed in romances
 • Long poems about knightly adventures
 • Recited by traveling poets
 • Later written down in verse and prose

 Arthurian romances were among the most
 • Arthur was a legendary Celtic king
 • Knights of Round Table
              Chivalry and Courtly Love

c. 1000-1300
                      Element of courtly love
                      distinguishes medieval romances
                      from earlier epics
                          • Knights perform deeds for a
                            fair and noble lady
                         • Lady is usually married, and
                           thus unattainable
                      Concept emerges in late 11th century
Tristan and Isolde
with the Potion      • Southern France
                     • Poet-musicians called troubadours
        The Protestant Reformation

c. 1300-c. 1500
 Power of Church undermined by corruption and
 • Sale of indulgences
   (paying for “forgiveness”)
 • Vast differences in wealth
   between clergy and
   majority of people
 • Roman Catholic Church
   and Eastern Orthodox
   Church split in 1054
        The Protestant Reformation

 German monk Martin Luther (1483-1546)
 nails his Ninety-five Theses to door of
 church in Wittenberg
               • List of complaints against
                 Church practices
               • Proposes radical reforms
               • Beginning of Protestantism,
                 which soon spreads to
                 Scandinavia, Scotland,
                 Switzerland, Netherlands
             The Scientific Method

The Rise of Humanism
  Humanism is an intellectual and literary

    • Focuses on human values—not
      religious questions
    • Promotes revival of Greek and Roman
    • Efforts to reform Church, social
             The Scientific Method

c. 1300-c. 1700s
 The Renaissance (“rebirth”)
 • Rediscovery of Greek and
   Roman thought, writings
 • More exploration, trade,
   scientific experimentation,
   and invention
 • Arts, architecture flourish   The Astronomer

 • Begins in Italy, spreads north and
   west, reaches England in 16th century      Map
             The Scientific Method

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian)
  • Artist, inventor, architect,
    musician, scientist
  • Records detailed observations

                                    Sketch of a
 Nicolaus Copernicus (Polish)       woman’s head,
 • Earth rotates on axis,           Da Vinci
   revolves around sun
            The Scientific Method

The Enlightenment, also called the Age of Reason
 • Promotes use of rational, logical thinking
   to discover truths about the universe
 • Creation of scientific research societies
                          • Great achievements in
                            mathematics and music

                      Minister of Finance Colbert Presenting
                      the Members of the Royal Academy of
            The Scientific Method

René Descartes (French)
• uses deductive method to
  discover universal truths
 Isaac Newton (English)
 • describes basic laws of motion
 • lays foundation for calculus       Sir Isaac Newton
 • postulates law of gravity
 • describes a “clockwork universe”
   governed by mathematical laws
          The Spark of Revolution

c.1600-c. 1800
 Rationalist ideas of Newton, Descartes, and
 others influence social philosophers

    • Unchanging laws also apply to politics
      and morality
    • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) English
      social philosopher
    • Common interests lead people to make
      “social contract” with rulers
           The Spark of Revolution

c. 1600-c. 1800
British philosopher John Locke (1632-1704)

                  • Empiricist—believes that
                    experience is only reliable
                    source of knowledge
                  • Mind at birth is a tabula rasa
                    (blank slate) on which
                    experience is recorded

                  • Humans have natural rights
                    that rulers should protect
           What Have You Learned?

Indicate whether the following statements or
phrases refer to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance,
or the Enlightenment.
___ Rationalists use math to understand the laws
     of the universe.
___ Monks copy books by hand.
___ Humanists are interested in human values.
___ Plays provide religious instruction for illiterate
___ Martin Luther’s theses lead to the Protestant
The End

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