January 29, 2008
PIE- Proto-Indo European (hypothetical language)
-believed to have developed in region between Caspian and Black Sea
1500-2500 BCE- spread language
-those who traveled west to Europe known as Centum
-those who traveled east to Asia known as Satum
500 CE-
-Old English develops in the southeast part of Great Britain
-Scot develops in Scotland
-Celtic develops in Wales (Welsh)

The Clesiastical History of British Nations
by Venerable Bede in 731 CE
Caedmon's Hymn- (660-685 CE)
originated at ge beorscup (beer party)

January 30, 2008
Anglo-Saxon Riddles
-lived a simple life- no "luxuries" like education
-rural area
-main focus: survival

Norman invasion in 1066--brings a French influence to the area and language
cow farmer
pig sheep
dog house
beef pork
Court Judge
Parliment rich

January 31, 2008
Geoffry Chaucer- member of the upper class
-conservative catholic
Canterbury Tales attacks the Church
Why?- he was discontent with corruption

Frame Story- story within a story
ex. Catcher in the Rye (said in flashbacks)

Background of Story: going to pay respect to the former Archbishop St. Thomas a Becket
Canterbury Cathedral- home of the Archbishop of Canterbury

Frame work in Canterbury Tales- pilgrimage to Canterbury and stories told on the way

Thomas a Becket: Thomas "of London"
- got a job as a merchants clerk, then a job working for Theobald (then current archbishop of Canterbury)
-became good friends with King Henry II
-both liked the good life and good clothes
-good for Englands image to have a chancellor look so good
-King Henry chose Thomas because of his influence in the church, with that his power would be large
1161-Theobald died- Henry gets Becket installed as archbishop, he didnt want to be archbishop because he knew the way Henry wanted to rule the church and he opposed it
-Becket disagreed with how he taxed the church (wants people to make "voluntary" donations)
1162-Becket chose to serve the church over the king and became archbishop
- gets rid of all of his belongings and becomes a flagellant (punishes himself for his sins)
1163-1164-Henry wanted Becket to sign the Constitution of Clarendon which would abolish the church system (he didnt sign it)
-Henry was angry and fined Becket for petty things
-Becket went to the Pope to ask for resignation, he said no, so Becket returned to Canterbury
December 20, 1170- Norman Knights go to Canterbury
-get into a fight with Becket and kill him
-they went because King said to take care of him while he was supposedly drunk
-took his remains and put them on display, sick people would taste it and be cured
-monks made Canterbury water with his remains and sold it, made enough money to build another church

February 4, 2008
Catagories of CT characters
Religion (10): Monk, 2 Nuns, 3 Priest, Friar, Summoner, Pardoner, Parson
Middle/upperclass (10): Reeve, Merchant, Squire, Knight, Manciple, Franklin, Doctor, Serjant at the Law, Oxford Cleric (might be religious), Worthy Woman/ Wife of Bath (we placed her here because even though we didnt know were to place her she has a title and is widow to many husbands)
Commoners (12): Miller, Yeoman, Carpenter, Carpetmaker, Dyer, Weaver, Cook, Haberdasher, Skipper, Plowman & Brother, Inn Host
Dating rules:
  • gentlemanly, mannored
  • first date no kissing
  • second date all bets are off
  • third date get it on
  • stages to intimacy
  • let getting to know each other happen naturally
  • use questionairs
  • dont call him have him call you
unwritten rules:
  • man should pay for dinner (at least on first date)
  • do not introduce to siblings untill confident in relationship
  • do not date best friends ex
  • atraction is necissary
Monday - February 11, 2008
OED Discussion
-OED Words
-Spelling changes often (along with pronunciation)
-Some words were used earlier in other languages
-Inferences about OED timeline of earliest recorded usage
-Over time, more words entered the English language.
-More words were recorded later in time because of education, increase in literacy and more English speakers.

Estates of the Realm
· 1st Estate
--High (Pope, Archbishop)
--Low (Priests, Friars)
· 2nd Estate
--Of the Robe (Government Officials)
--Of the Sword (Knights, Distinguished Warriors)
· 3rd Estate
-Everyone Else (Commoners)

Clergy from The Canterbury Tales
-Nun, Monk, Priests, Summoner, Friar, Prioress, Pardoner, Parson
Commonalities between the Clergy
Female Clergy ~ nice, virtuous
-Male Clergy ~ scandals
-Well-fed = money to eat
~Unorthodox (Focused on self not God)

The Knight's Tale
- Courtly Love is illicit (forbidden)
- Emily has no say in anything
- After winning/marrying Emily reality sets in.
-Is Arcite really the good example of courtly love opposed to Palamon? (Arcite won the battle but died)
The Miller's Tale
- The Reeve didn't want the Miller to tell his tale becuase it was about someone like him (Reeve = a carpenter).

Wednsday - February 13, 2008
The Miller’s Tale
- The Reeve was angry because a carpenter was being portrayed negatively
- Miller’s drunken state → very blunt, harsh descriptions
- Cuckold (symbolized by horns)- describes a man whose wife/girlfriend cheats on him
- Nicholas- charming student who lives in the carpenter’s house
- John (carpenter)- jealous, over-protective of his wife and always keeps a close watch on her
- Absalon– clerk, falls in love with the carpenter’s wife, serenades her at night
- While all three men claim to love the wife, she only wants to be with Nicholas. (This so called love can probably be
interpreted as wanting to have sex with her, rather than an actual relationship)

The Carpenter's Wife
- Young and beautiful, 18 yrs. old
- Lecherous eye: unfaithful, has sex with other people
- Well-dressed: possibly spoiled by her husband
- Often compared to young animals (colt, calf, kid [goat] ) → jittery, jumpy, energetic, sexual tension

A person’s Sexuality plays a big role in determining a person’s Morality.
- More sexually active= less moral values (inversely proportional)

Comparisons between the Miller’s Tale and The Reeve’s Tale
- Moral: What goes around comes around
- Students portrayed as being superior to the miller and carpenter (working class: blue collar, uneducated)
- Nicholas- very confident, self-assured, assertive
- Alan & John- a little more morally upright than Nicholas
- Chaucer uses accents from Northern England: suggesting that the students are slower, thick skulled, and difficult to understand.

Thursday - February 14, 2008
Translated Words (pg. 111-115)
meäts-mate (friend)

The Pardoner
- Big personality- like a salesman
- Accepting of his immorality
- Preaches in Latin- Money is the Root of all Evil
- Doesn’t practice what he preaches
- Money is very important to him, and while there is a relic on his cap, he is holding on to his wallet
- Has a way with words; a way of convincing people he can help them

Other Points Discussed
- Phallic symbols- represent male genitalia
- Yonic symbols- represent female genitalia
-Papal bull- message from the pope; pardoner mentions it so people will understand that he has the authority to help them
- Yokel- like a country hick, (derogatory term)

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
If there is a link between morality and sexuality, why would the pardoner's tale have contrasting sexual imagery?

Pardoner's Looks:
Feminine | Masculine

Long hair | "a girl in every town"
Smooth face | phallic symbol with the scroll and coins
Small voice |
Castrated? |
yonic symbol with purse |
and shape of it. |

[Discussion about Chaucer's thoughts]

Some questions raised during discussion:
-What separates the Pardoner from a regular priest who will hear confession for free?
-By lying to the people, is the Pardoner committing a "spiritual rape" because he has all the power?
-Is the Pardoner overcompensating for his feminine qualities by handing out phallic symbols and taking people's money?

"appeal to authority"- the Pardoner name drops when he preaches because he wants the people to believe his stories

The Story the Pardoner Tells:
Main characters - three "bad" guys
-We know that they are bad because they are drinking, swearing and gambling
The three men meet a man
-He is very, very old and wants to die and is possibly the Wandering Jew
-The Wandering Jew:
-Repulsed Christ during the Crucifixion
-Cursed by Christ to walk the Earth until the end of days.
The old man says to them "To find Death turn up this crooked way."

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008.
Medieval Anti-Semitism (1190-1290)

Usury - lending money then putting interest on that loan.

-Christians didn't like the Jews because they believed the Jewish people killed Christ
-The Christian people needed the Jewish to run the banks because the Pope had said it was a sin for the Christan people to have the profession of money lending
-This made the people not trust the Jewish people.
-Money lending was one of the few jobs that the Jewish people were allowed to have
-The Jewish people began to make more money than those of the Christian religion, which only fueled the animosity

-Money starts playing a bigger role in society
-Jews are making a lot of money and are in control of private and government money
-The Jewish standard of living varied depending on the king and the pope
-English Jews prosper from government contracts such as land ownership.

King Henry I and Joseph Chief Rabbi of London
Royal Charter (1100-1135) - Jews:
-are exempt from taxes and tolls
-can buy and sell with Christians
-have the right to a trial of his peers (all of those peers would be Jewish)
-are allowed to swear on the Torah instead of the Bible in court
-Also, the oath of a Jewish person would be worth that of 12 Christian people.

50-60 years later....King Richard I
-Massacres began
-Reinstated the Royal Charter
-November 1189 - Coronation of Richard and he said he didn't want Jewish people to be there because it was taking place in a church and it was considered bad luck for a Jewish person to enter a church. Many important Jewish leaders showed up anyway with gifts, but Richard's men dragged them out into the street and whipped them. From that, rumors spread and changed from being "Jewish people shouldn't be in the church" to "Richard hates Jewish people and they should all die"; that then led to a lot of mob violence and the massacres.

1270 - Highest standard of living for Jewish people

After 1270, Jews lose their rights
-Lose their jobs, no more money lending in England
-Jews are no longer allowed to do business with Christians
-Now they have to wear badges identifying them as Jewish and are placed in ghettos. (this is where Hitler got his ideas from)

1290 - Edward I and the Expulsion
-Complete clearing of Jews
-Any Jewish person that stayed in England would be killed
-Worked for 350 years (1290-1655) and when they fled England, they scattered making them more of a minority in new cities.

1655 - Purists take over England (Oliver Cromwell was the "Lord Protector")
-They then show religious tolerance and they welcome the Jewish people back into England.

Two different writing types of the time
Miracle of the Virgin - These stories were actions that were done by the Virgin Mary.
Blood Libel - a group of people is accused of cannibalism or the consumption of human blood.
-One legend said that a group of Jews would ambush a Christian child, drag him back to their "lair," torture him and bleed him dry and then use the blood to make matza. The legend continued on to tell how the Jews would then try to bury the child but the earth would refuse to cover the body.
-Hugh of Lincoln, Simon of Trent, and William of Nores: these three boys were often the ones that would be consumed by the Jewish people in the stories
-The stories were meant to engender fear and appeal to emotion.
-Every time one of these stories came out, it would instigate real life mass violence against Jews
-The rumors continued because they couldn't be proven wrong; there were no Jews in England for 350 years so people could go their whole lives without every meeting a Jewish person

Thursday Feb 28, 2008
Wife of Bath Prologue
- The thing women most desire is complete control over their husbands.
- Has had four husbands, and is now on the fifth.
- She sees nothing wrong with having had five husbands and cannot understand Jesus’ rebuke to the woman at the well who also had five husbands.
- Unlike most women at the time, she has always been willing to have sex whenever her man wants to.
- King Solomon, who had many wives
- St. Paul’s admonishment that it is better to marry than to burn.
- Challenges anyone to show her that God commands virginity.
- Sexual organs are made both for functional purposes and for pleasure.
Former Husbands:
- #1- Dead, older patient men. Used them in the bedroom, she had control over them.
- #2- “ “
- #3- “ “
- #4- Dead, Kept a paramour on the side. The wife tortured him for unfaithfulness by being unfaithful herself.
- #5-Alive, a young boy from Oxford. Met him before her 4th husband’s death keeping him as a backup for when she became a widow. Even though he beat her and kept a woman on the side number 5 was her favorite husband because he did not give love, the wife had to work for it. “Though he had beaten me in every bone He still could wheedle me to love, I own. I think I loved him best, I’ll tell no lie.” P 272

February 25, 2008 - Ashley
Prioress Tale
  • The prioress is primp and proper but tells a hateful tale... violent.
  • She cries at animals being hurt but eats meat.
  • Wore broaches and Jewelry which was un- nun like - A bracelet that said Amore Vincit Omnia= Love conquers all.
  • Everyone could see her forehead (foreheads were considered desirable at the time) and it is said to make her look like a tramp. Seeing her forehead was like seeing cleavage.
  • They talk about the prioress caring for animals but not for people. Nuns cannot have pets but this nun does!
  • Romance of the Rose references - (romance of the rose is a 23,000 line poem of love and prostitutes.) Comparing the prioress to a prostitute essentially.
February 26, 2008 - Ashley
Prioress Tale continued...

  • The prioress told a tale about a Christian town and Jews in Asia.
  • A Christian boy learns a new song that he had wanted to learn and sings it on his way home.
  • There are Jewish Homes that he passes on the way to his home and they heard him singing this song and wanted to kill him because they thought he was mocking them. - He was singing the Virgin Mary song.
  • The boy did not know what the song meant because it was in Latin and asked what it was about. And when he heard - he wasnted to learn now more than ever!
  • "Satan" shows up nad asks the jews - are you going to let him get away with this? The Jews then decide they are going to slit his throat.
  • The Jews hire a murderer to slit the little boys throat and throw him in an open sewer - trench on the side of the road.
  • The boys head but hanging on by a tiny piece of skin started ot sing his song. Mary put a seed on his tongue so that he could sing it (a miracle) and when he was done she took the seed off and the little boy died.
  • The murderer and the other guilty Jeews were dragged apart by horses at each limb and then hung.

The Wife of Bath - Ashley
  • Thesis with support --> concession--> Knockout punch
  • The wife of bath married her first husband at the age of twelve.
  • Husbands 1 - 3 were older and rich
  • Husband 4 - died - he was a partier, kept a mistress, and in return the wife of bath tried to make him jealous by flirting with other men
  • Husband 5 - (Johnny) Beat her a lot and he was the worst but she loved him the most because she had a husband that played "hard to get" like he didnt love her so the sex was great. There was not much mental attraction as there was physical because the wife of bath loved sex. Mainly, - him acting like he did not want her made her want him more unlike her other husbands who did not. The wife of bath first meets Johnny when visiting people before husband number 4 died. She said when her 4th husband dies they should really get together and marry. Her new husband Johnny beat her because of wicked wives he read about in a book. She ripped a couple pages out and threww them at him - and knocked him on the floor. He beat her senselessly.
  • Chaucer's writing - misogynistic? yes... no
  • A lot of Chaucers tales are on two extreme basis' in morals and not a lot of inbetweens.
March 10, 2008: Everyman
  • ca. 1485 -- Morality Play by Unknown
  • Allegory: extended metaphor (character names are obvious representations)
  • plays on stereotypes/archetypes
  • character's actions are instructive
  • Idea of reevaluating things in one's life and deciding if material objects/other people will mean anything in the afterlife.
  • Biblical messages -- pointlessness of material objects, importance of good deeds.
  • The play supports the church rather than going against it (Chaucer)
  • Message is much more serious than any in the Canterbury Tales - why?
  • Week of March 10-14

  • Everyman Questions Summarizations

  • 1. When people Everyman reaches out to realize that they must make a great sacrifice, they back out.

  • Only Good Deeds is willing to follow Everyman to his grave
    • 2. Differences between The Canterbury Tales and Everyman
    • Canterbury Tales uses very bawdy humor
    • Everyman has a different style and message.
    • It is very serious and is meant to teach a lesson
    • 3. Progression of people, things and qualities that Everyman reaches out to
      • people dependent external
      • possessions
      • actions
      • mind
      • physical independent internal
  • Style and Tone
  • Style-point of view
    • structure
    • way you write
    • imagery
    • theme
  • John Lennon and Paul McCartney style of writing
  • They took a lot of styles and ideas from artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Motown. Due to a contract, all Beatles songs had to be credited to Lennon/McCartney
  • Paul McCartney tended to write a lot of 'pop' songs with catchy melodies. He wrote a lot about love and lighter subjects. He also told stories about ordinary people and things. Musically, he used a very consistent beat throughout the entire song.
  • John Lennon wrote a lot more songs about religion and politics. Many of his songs had first person statements with very in-your-face tone. His messages are evocative and have a iconoclast perspective. John Lennon's songs were also a lot more psychedelic than Paul McCartney, ex: I Am The Walrus.
  • Intro to Hamlet works of art
  • Painting (First by Cruikshank, Second by Gebbie)
    • First painting is close-up to the characters. Uses facial expressions and body expressions to show the tone of the painting. The prince seems very scared, but the ghost/knight does not seem to be very threatening. The painting has an almost cartoon-like feel to it
    • The second painting is much further away from the characters. Uses the background and scenery to describe the theme. Has a much more ominous and dark tone to it. The stormy sea demonstrates a conflict between the four characters in the scene.
  • Song ('How Soon Is Now?' by The Smiths)
    • Has a droning guitar part, very mellow beat, and a dark tone. The song is very depressing. The words show that the writer has an inability or unwillingness to communicate. Seems to be an internal conflict.
  • Poem (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot)
    • 'Should I try, should I change?'
    • Self-critical
    • 'Has my time passed?'
    • A debate with self
    • Indecision
    • Futility