Literature of the Middle Ages Flashcards

Literature of the Middle Ages Flashcards
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Allegory
A story which is a metaphor for or is symbolic of a different concept or story.
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Written by an unknown author known as The Pearl Poet

A Middle English work telling the story of a knight of the Round Table

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Caedmon's Hymn

Oldest known poem in Old English

Was originally an oral piece of work and then was later transcribed by the Venerable Bede

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Vernacular

The common language spoken by most people within a geographical area

Both The Canterbury Tales and The Divine Comedy were written in the vernacular

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Geoffrey Chaucer

Writer of The Canterbury Tales

Lived in the 1300s

Was a nobleman's page, participated in the Hundred Years' War, and ran the port of London

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The Divine Comedy

Poem written by Dante

Contains 100 cantos separated into 3 sections

Written in Italian vernacular so it would be more accessible to people

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Dante Alighieri

Poet and writer of The Divine Comedy

Born in Florence, Italy, but was exiled from his home and threatened with the possibility of execution if he ever returned

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15 cards in set

Flashcard Content Overview

This flashcard set covers important authors and works of literature from the Middle Ages. Learn about the types of stories that were popular as well as important figures of the time. Important relevant vocabulary is also covered, such as vernacular, caesura, and allegory.

Additional Study

To learn more about literature written during the Middle Ages take a look at these additional lessons:

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Dante Alighieri

Poet and writer of The Divine Comedy

Born in Florence, Italy, but was exiled from his home and threatened with the possibility of execution if he ever returned

The Divine Comedy

Poem written by Dante

Contains 100 cantos separated into 3 sections

Written in Italian vernacular so it would be more accessible to people

Geoffrey Chaucer

Writer of The Canterbury Tales

Lived in the 1300s

Was a nobleman's page, participated in the Hundred Years' War, and ran the port of London

Vernacular

The common language spoken by most people within a geographical area

Both The Canterbury Tales and The Divine Comedy were written in the vernacular

Caedmon's Hymn

Oldest known poem in Old English

Was originally an oral piece of work and then was later transcribed by the Venerable Bede

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Written by an unknown author known as The Pearl Poet

A Middle English work telling the story of a knight of the Round Table

Allegory
A story which is a metaphor for or is symbolic of a different concept or story.
Caesura

A pause or break in the middle of a line

An example of a work that uses caesura is Caedmon's Hymn

Frame Narrative

A larger story that contains smaller stories within it, 'framing' and giving context to the individual stories

One example of a framed narrative is The Canterbury Tales.

Ending of The Wife of Bath's Tale from Canterbury Tales
The hag asks the knight if he'd rather marry a faithful hag or a beautiful cheater; he tells her to decide. The hag rewards the knight for deferring to her and turns into a beautiful young woman.
Chivalric Romance
A tale of adventure featuring a knight and usually a lady who inspires these adventures.
Elegiac Poems

Poetry that seeks to impart wisdom about life

Shorter in length than epic poetry

Grendel

The main 'monster' from the epic poem Beowulf

When he attacks, Beowulf decides to fight him unarmed because Grendel has no weapons; Beowulf manages victory anyway.

Grendel's mother
After killing Grendel, Beowulf must battle Grendel's mother. He was losing the fight with her until he found a powerful sword under the water, and he was able to defeat her with it.
Alliterative Verse

Poetry that uses words that begin with the same letter, rather than rhyming, to form the piece

Beowulf is an Old English work which uses alliterative verse.

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