Journal Entry:
Have you ever been on a road trip, whether it be
with friends or family?
How was it?
How did you feel about a long trip with a semilarge group of people?
What did you do to stay entertained during the
hours of travel?
What was the purpose of the journey?
Are you a fan of road trips or extended journeys
with other people? Why or why not.
Get your brains moving…
Recap—You can’t proceed into the
future without referring to the past.
Old English
 Celts
 Roman invasion 53 B.C.
 Germanic Conquest 449 A.D.
 Converted to Christianity 597 A.D.
Old English
 449-1100
Middle English
 1100-1500
Early Modern English
 1500-1800
Present Day English
 1800-Present
Old English to Middle English
“Toward the close of the Old English period
an event occurred that had a greater effect
on the English language than any other in
the course of its history.”
 The Norman Conquest in 1066
 “The Norman Conquest changed the whole
course of the English language. An event
of such far-reaching consequences must
be considered in some detail.”
The Norman Conquest (1066)
Normandy was an area of modern day France.
 Derives its name from the bands of Northmen
who settled there, similar to the Danelaw (same
Before the Norman Conquest, relations between
England (A.S.) and Normandy (Northman) was
A long chain of events occurred that led to the fall
of the Anglo-Saxons and the rise of the Middle
Ages (and Middle English).
Break it down Mr. T…
King Edward the Confessor, the Anglo-Saxon ruler
of England, dies without an heir.
Three men grab at the crown
 Harold Godwinson (earl of Wessex)
○ Actually had the crown for a while, step
brother to E.T.C.
 Duke William (Normandy)
○ Distantly related to E.T.C. and claimed that he
promised him the throne.
○ Was given the name William the Conquerer
 Harald Hadrada (King of Norway)
Break it down Mr. T…
Battle of Stamford Bridge-Sept. 16th, 1066
 King Harald of Norway invades England and is
met by Harold Godwinson, current English King.
 The English were victorious, but their army
suffered damages and were weakened.
 King Harald was killed in battle.
 This adversely affected England’s ability and
capacity to repel the Norman invasion.
The Battle of Hastings-Oct. 14th, 1066
 After an hour, Norman army was badly damaged.
 Amateur move by the English king led them to attack.
 King Harold is hit in the eye with an arrow and dies.
You Go Mr. T…
On Christmas Day, 1066, William is crowned King of
England marking the end of the Old English/AngloSaxon period.
Domesday Book
 By 1086, Englishmen held on about 1/20th of landed
wealth in England.
Normans held most of the positions of authority. (Court,
Church, etc.)
The king of England does not speak English, but
Norman French!
William wanted to rule the Anglo-Saxons, not eliminate
them. Today, as a result, we have a culture and
language that combines Norman and Anglo-Saxon
Middle Ages and the birth of the
Medieval Times
 Democratic and artistic tendencies
 Normans
 Adminstrative ability, emphasis on law and order,
and cultural unity
 Normans kept their rule in Normandy as well as their
rule in England
 As a result, William divided the holdings of the fallen
English landowners among his own followers.
 When brought over to England, they brought
feudalism with them.
 The term "medieval" comes from the Latin meaning
"middle age.”
Middle Ages and the birth of
the Medieval Times
As the population grew, an increasing number of
people lived in towns and cities.
 Development of city classes
 Lower, middle, and upper
This progression is evident in the work of Geoffrey
 The Crusades (1095-1270)
 War between Christians and Muslims for the holy land,
 Contact brought mathematics, astronomy, architecture , and
 Opened up the door to the life that we see in Chaucer’s work.
Middle Ages and the birth of
the Medieval Times
Thomas a Beckett
 “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Said by
the king about Thomas a Beckett.
 4 knights took this literally and murdered him in his
own cathedral.
 Led to corruption within the Church (Catholic church)
○ Public outrage caused a backlash against the
king. When there were abuses within the Church,
the king could not use his influence to correct
them. (power shift)
 The Magna Carta (1215)
 Became the basis for English constitutional law.
 Limited the monarch’s power.
 No taxes without representation.
 Established first democratic ideals.
Middle Ages and the birth of
the Medieval Times
Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
 Between England and France
 Gradually developed an English national
 Black Death (1348-1349)
 Bubonic plague
 Reduced the nation’s population by a third
○ Causing a labor shortage
 Resulted in the freedom for the serfs
 Greater power for the lower classes
Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)
Father of English poetry
 In the time of Latin and French, it was not
fashionable for serious poets to write in English.
 Composed in the vernacular—the everyday
language spoken in London and the East Midlands.
Born into middle class London.
Served as a government official.
Began writing The Canterbury Tales in 1387
Famous for his use of language, wit, and personality.
“In a dark, troubled age, he was a comfortable optimist,
serene, full of faith.”
Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)
Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)
Used several metrical (meter) forms.
 Iambic pentameter
 Based on 10 syllables
 Unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.
 It is a rhythm that most closely matches the way English is
 And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Abandoned the alliterative Anglo-Saxon world for lines
of meter.
Heroic couplet- Two lines of rhyming iambic pentameter.
 A heroic couplet is a traditional form for English poetry,
commonly used for epic and narrative poetry.
**Tip** Let punctuation and meaning guide your
reading instead of the lines.
The Canterbury Tales
A collection of stories and a snapshot, a picture frozen
in time, of life in the Middle Ages.
 Pilgrimage
 A religious journey to a shrine or holy place.
 Where? Why?
Begins during spring
 Archetypal time of new life and awakening.
Poet-pilgrim narrator
 Considered to be Chaucer himself
Quest narrative
 Frame story
 A story within a story.
Terms and concepts to know:
Feudalism- A social (caste), economic, and political
system consisting of God, kings/overlords,
barons/vassals, knights, and serfs
 A hierarchy with God as the supreme overlord.
 Simply put, it was an exchange of land, which was
power, for military devotion and services.
 Vassal-A holder of land by feudal tenure on conditions
of homage (public respect) and allegiance.
 Serf- A laborer that was bound to his lord, usually not
even allowed to leave the land they maintained.
 Chivalry- A knight’s code of conduct. 1st obligation to
defend his lord, the king, and the Christian faith, but the
code also covered how to treat a lady, how to help
others, and how to resist the urge to run away if
Terms and concepts to know:
 Chivalry comes from French and is related to cheval,
the word for ‘horse.’ In French, a chevalier was a
knight who rode a horse.
 Knighthood was founded in the feudal idea of loyalty.
 Chivalry led to an idealized attitude toward women
and gave rise to a new form of literature, the
romance. (foreshadowing)
 Irony-The expression of one’s meaning by using
language that normally signifies the opposite.
 Typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
 Sarcasm
Satire- The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or
ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or
 Often used to convey insults or scorn.
Terms and concepts to know:
Imagery- Visually descriptive or figurative language.
 Visual symbolism
 Appealing to the ‘senses’
Genre- A category of literary composition characterized by
similarities in form, style, or subject matter.
Allegory- A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to
reveal hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
 Suggestive
 Moral
Charity: Serves God and others.
Cupidity: Self serving/greedy
Our new unit…
Class Set
Verse vs. Prose
 Poetry
Differentiated reading strategies
 Aloud (popcorn style)
 Self
 To you
 Vocab read in class discussion & activities
Major project
 The Canterbury digitales
Things to remember…
The journey is the destination
 You have to be here anyway
Give yourself over to the reading
 It WILL help, especially as the texts get more
Poetry is meant to evoke emotion
 Use your brains
 Read between the lines
Learn, have fun, grow, and be nice to me.