intro to medieval vernacular literature.docx

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St. Michael's College Courses
Yolanda Iglesias

Definition - During the middle ages, the language of learning had been Latin but alongside this international tongue, there existed in each country, the popular spoke language, the vulgar tongue or vernacular - Vernacular literature is literature written in the vernacular: the speech of the common people - In the European tradition, this effectively means literature not written in Latin - Usually vernacular literature has a Latin source - i.e. The Song of Roland, The Miracles of our Lady, The Canterbury Tales, The Decamerion - It is important to highlight that while medieval translations often involves translation from one language into another, it is not concerned with producing what we could consider a faithful translation of the original - Instead, the medieval poet deliberately modifies, adapts, adds to and reworks his sources - Poet's poems were not valued for its "originality" but for the skills with which the poet has combined disparate elements into a pleasing and artful whole. Introduction - French literature is the point of departure - Thjis influence was there from the tenth century to the thirteen century - The main clause of the influence was - Towns and cities life increaed in wealth and independence - The influence of the church and especially of the universities extended far and wide - Students from all parts of europe came in particular to Pairs, attracted by the teachers - The foreign student helped to spread the French culture and literature far and wide - The main type of literature that was read of head from one end of europe to the other, is marked by two essential characteris - It is based upon religion sentiment and beliefs - And the virutues of the knight - The knight is portrayed as the vassal of God, as of his earthly overlord, and earthly love, in its hightest manifestation, is a reflection of divine love - Medieval French literature, in particular, is the expression of a feudal and christian society, and as euopean socity in the X12 and C13 were based upon the same priniciiples, nations were prepared to welcome french literure as expression their own social feelings and aspriations - Hence any generalizations that may be based upon french litereay method and product - (CONT) - The influence that France had with Europe eventually ground to a stop due to the 100 year war - It destablized english society and the war of the roses began shortly after the end of the 100 year war Reading and Writing - In the medieval world, those who could read nad write were the few, and it is likely that most of them did not read or write with our methods or with our facility - Aurhors read their words in public, as this was the only way in which they could publish them - Most of the people who could read or write were the monks - There was little difference between men and women who were literate, but the difference was in socio-economical classes - There were only a small group of people who could read and write in the middle ages - The most common way to read in public was in a reduced group of people - Some authors addressed to the public to call their attention and to enlist the interest of the audience - i.e. friends and vassals of a might God, If it please you to listen to me, I would like to relate a fortunate experience Afterwards you will truly consider it wonderful Language and nationalitity - Language had little or no political signatificane in the middle ages - For theological or what may be called scientific purposes, latin was the language used. Latin was generally known for literacy people and they could use a common vocabulary required for dealing with technical subjects, to a degree which no vernacular could claim - But with latin just few people could understand the text. And littler by litterler, author had more interest to reach more people. To get that goal, the poet had to write in the vernacular - The development of the vernacular went hand and hand in the development of nationalism - Not everyone wanted to move to the vernacular, however, and dante presents the debate between both sides - The language was unified and standardized through literature - As we'll learn with the analysis of the literary text, verncaular literature was during tehe middle ages, not only a way to create art, but a very impotnat and usefool tool to teach people, manipulate them, and inform them about social, historoical, politics and religious topics, as well as unify the language Style and Christicism - When a verncular has become sufficiently stablilized and widespread to produce literature, questions of style begin to arise - What is the best mode of expression? - How can expression be modified to suit a particular subject or to appeal to a particular audience? - What means can be discovered for attracting and holding attention or for securing applauce? - Most of the vernauclar literature had a latin source - In the middle ages the copyright was not understood as it is today - Then, the poets created their work based in other texts written in latin - but recreating the story according to their interest and public and introducing their own writing styles and techniques - They never used a simple,
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