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ENGL201: ­Medieval English Literature and Culture

Unit 3: Middle English Literature  

In this final unit, we will review the turbulent history of the late Medieval period, from England’s involvement in a number of wars to the outbreak of the bubonic plague in the 14thcentury. We will also chart the key social and cultural changes of the times: the rise of the merchant class, the linguistic transition from the French of the Anglo-Norman Period to Middle English, and the changing perspectives on the Church. With these contexts in mind, we will explore developments in the romance genre and study the many literary innovations of Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales, including his break from alliterative verse and his thematic attention to social dynamics and class relations. Finally, we will examine religious works written during this late period, including the mystical writings of anchoresses like Julian of Norwich and the growth of religiously-oriented drama as a popular genre.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 60.25 hours.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 14.5 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.1.1: 3 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.1.2: 0.5 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.1.3: 0.5 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.1.4: 0.5 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.1.5: 10 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 9 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.2.1: 0.75 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.2.2: 1.75 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.2.3: 6.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 14.75 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.3.1: 0.25 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.3.2: 0.25 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.3.3: 4.5 hours 

        ☐    Subunit 3.3.4: 1.25 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.3.5: 2 hours

        ☐    Subunit 3.3.6: 6.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.4: 7.25 hours

         ☐    Subunit 3.4.1: 2 hours 

         ☐    Subunit 3.4.2: 2.75 hours

         ☐    Subunit 3.4.3: 0.5 hours

         ☐    Subunit 3.4.4: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 3.5: 14.75 hours

         ☐    Subunit 3.5.1: 0.75 hours

         ☐    Subunit 3.5.2: 0.25 hours

         ☐    Subunit 3.5.3: 13.75 hours   

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
 

  • identify the factors that led to the rise of Middle English;
     

  • discuss the evolution of Christian imagery from the “The Dream of the Rood” to Langland’s “Piers Plowman”;
     

  • describe the characteristics and significance of the alliterative revival;
     

  • identify and describe examples of irony and satire in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales;
     

  • discuss the representation of gender in Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”; and
     

  • identify the functions of medieval mystery and morality plays, and distinguish between the two related genres.

3.1 An Overview of the Late Medieval Period     3.1.1 Tumultuous Politics and the Outbreak of War in the 14th and 15th Centuries   - Reading: Catholic Encyclopedia’s “Crusades” and The ORB: Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies: Steven Muhlberger’s Medieval England: “Origins of the Hundred Years’ War,” “Economic Change and Social Tension in the Late Fourteenth Century,” and “The Beginning of the Wars of the Roses”

Link: *Catholic Encyclopedia*’s
[“Crusades”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Crusades1.pdf) (PDF)
and *The ORB: Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies*: Steven
Muhlberger’s *Medieval England*: [“Origins of the Hundred Years’
War”](http://www.the-orb.net/textbooks/muhlberger/edwardiii.html)
(HTML), [“Economic Change and Social Tension in the Late
Fourteenth](http://www.the-orb.net/textbooks/muhlberger/14c_economy.html)[Century”](http://www.the-orb.net/textbooks/muhlberger/14c_economy.html)
(HTML), and [“The Beginning of the Wars of the
Roses”](http://www.the-orb.net/textbooks/muhlberger/rose_wars.html)
(HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read the *Catholic Encyclopedia* article on
“Crusades” for an overview of the development of conflicts in the
14th and 15th centuries. Focus specifically on the sections titled
“The Fourteenth Century Crusade and the Ottoman Invasion” and “The
Crusade in the Fifteenth Century” for a historical overview. Then,
read Steven Muhlberger’s chapters on “Origins of the Hundred Years’
War,” “Economic Change and Social Tension in the Late Fourteenth
Century,” and “Beginning of the Wars of the Roses” for more
information on the secular conflicts of the time.

Reading these documents should take approximately 3 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: The article above, “Crusades,” is released under a
[Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to *Catholic Encyclopedia*, and the original version can
be found
[here](http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Crusades). Please
respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages
above.

3.1.2 The Black Death    - Reading: Lynn Harry Nelson’s “The Great Famine and the Black Death” and Brown University: Decameron Web’s “Social and Economic Effects of the Plague”

Link: Lynn Harry Nelson’s [“The Great Famine and the Black
Death”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Great-Famine.pdf) (PDF)
and Brown University: Decameron Web’s [“Social and Economic Effects
of the
Plague”](http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Italian_Studies/dweb/plague/effects/social.php)
(HTML)

Instructions: Read both articles for a sense of the profound effects
of the Black Plague (otherwise known as the Black Death) on Late
Medieval Europe.

Reading these articles should take approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: “The Great Famine and the Black Death” is available
in the public domain. The original version was posted on The Virtual
Library and can be found
[here](http://www.vlib.us/medieval/lectures/black_death.html).
Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the
webpage above.

3.1.3 Class and Economics in the Late Medieval Period: Capitalism on the Rise     - Reading: Lynn Harry Nelson’s “The Rise of Capitalism and Decline of the Gilds”

Link: Lynn Harry Nelson’s [“The Rise of Capitalism and Decline of
the
Gilds”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Rise-of-Capitalism-and-Decline-of-the-Gilds.pdf) (PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Read this lecture for more information on the
changing economic structure in the Late Medieval Period, including
the massive shift to a proto-capitalist system that established both
a new class structure and a new everyday life.

Reading this lecture should take approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: “The Rise of Capitalism and Decline of the Gilds” is
available in the public domain. Please respect the copyright and
terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.4 The Birth of Middle English   - Reading: Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Medieval” and Rice University: Suzanne Kemmer’s “A Brief History of English”

Link: Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s
*[“Medieval”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/LITERARY-TERMS-ND-DEFINITONS-medieval.pdf)* (PDF)
and Rice University: Suzanne Kemmer’s [“A Brief History of
English”](#mid) (HTML)

Instructions: Read Dr. Wheeler’s definition of *Medieval*, and pay
special attention to his mention of the development of the Middle
English language as the product of historical developments. Also,
study the page titled “A Brief History of English.” As you read,
focus on the introduction at the onset of the page as well as the
timeline on “Middle English Period” for more information about the
language’s development.

Reading these documents should take approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: “Literary Terms and Definitions” is copyrighted by
Dr. L. Kip Wheeler with permission granted for non-profit,
educational, and student reproduction. The original version can be
found [here](http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/diagram_4English.html). Please
respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage
above. 

3.1.5 William Langland’s “Piers Plowman” and the Social and Religious Issues of the Day     - Reading: William Langland’s “Piers Plowman” and Harvard University’s The Geoffrey Chaucer Page: L.D. Benson’s “William Langland: Piers Plowman”

Link: William Langland’s [“Piers
Plowman”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/The-Visions-of-Piers-Plowman.pdf)
(PDF) and Harvard University’s The Geoffrey Chaucer Page: L.D.
Benson’s [“William Langland: Piers
Plowman”](http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echaucer/special/authors/langland/)
(HTML)  

 <span style="font-size: 12px;">Instructions: Read the “Prologue,”
as well as Passus One through Passus Three of Langland’s “Piers
Plowman.” Also, read the entry on “Piers Plowman” on Harvard
University’s The Geoffrey Chaucer webpage. You may wish to consult
the modern translation of the text linked on The Geoffrey Chaucer
webpage in order to enhance your understanding of “Piers
Plowman.”</span>

   
 “Piers Plowman” is a 14th-century allegorical narrative poem that
follows in the dream-vision tradition we earlier discussed.

Reading these documents should take approximately 10 hours.

Terms of Use: “Piers Plowman” is available in the public
domain. Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on
the webpage above.

3.2 The Persistence of the Arthurian Romance     3.2.1 The Alliterative Revival     - Reading: Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and Definitions”: “Alliterative Revival” and “Alliterative Verse”; “The Alliterative Morte Arthure”

Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and
Definitions”: “Alliterative Revival” and “Alliterative Verse”; “The
Alliterative Morte Arthure”

Link: Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms
and Definitions”: [“Alliterative
Revival”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/LITERARY-TERMS-ND-DEFINITONS-alliterative-revival.pdf) (PDF) and
[“Alliterative
Verse”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/LITERARY-TERMS-ND-DEFINITONS-alliterative-verse.pdf) (PDF); [“](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Alliterative-Morte-Arthure.pdf)[The
Alliterative Morte
Arthure”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Alliterative-Morte-Arthure.pdf) (PDF)     
    
 Instructions: Read both definitions for a sense of development and
characteristics of the Alliterative Revival. Then, look at lines 1 -
25 of “The Alliterative Morte Arthure” for an example of
alliterative verse.

Reading these documents should take approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: “Literary Terms and Definitions” is copyrighted by
Dr. L. Kip Wheeler with permission granted for non-profit,
educational, and student reproduction. The original version can be
found [here](http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/diagram_4English.html). The
material above, “The Alliterative Morte Arthure,” is available in
the public domain. Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

3.2.2 Magic and Supernatural Powers in the Romance Genre   - Reading: Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and Definitions”: “Medieval Romance”

Link: Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s [“Medieval
Romance”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Literary-Terms-and-Definitions-medieval-romance.pdf)
(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Reread the definition of Medieval Romance. However,
this time focus on Dr. Wheeler’s information about the presence of
supernatural elements in Medieval Romance.

Reviewing this text should take less than 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: “Literary Terms and Definitions” is copyrighted by
Dr. L. Kip Wheeler with permission granted for non-profit,
educational, and student reproduction. The original version can be
found [here](http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/diagram_4English.html). Please
respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage
above.
  • Lecture: iTunes U: Montgomery Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Arthurian Literature and Its Themes”

    Link: iTunes U: Montgomery Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Arthurian Literature and Its Themes”(iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Listen to this lecture for more information on supernatural themes in Medieval Romance literature.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.3 Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight   - Reading: Wikipedia’s “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”

Link: Wikipedia’s [“Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight”](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Gawain_and_the_Green_Knight)
(HTML)

Instructions: Read this webpage for information about the poem, “Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight.” Note that Sir Gawayne is sometimes
spelled as Sir Gawain in some translations of the text.  

 Reading this document should take approximately 30 minutes.

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Richard Morris’s Edited Version of “Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight”

    Link: Richard Morris’s Edited version of “Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight” (PDF)

    Also available in:
    (Google Books)
    (PDF)

    Instructions: Click on the link above to download the PDF, and read the text, edited by Morris. Note that this poem is anonymously written. To view other translations in PDF format, follow the “PDF” link above; select the link to “Arthurian Series” on the left side of the page, and in the main frame find the links for “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” The first link is a transcription of the original by Ross Arthur; the third link is a verse translation in modern English by Jessie Weston.

    “Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight” is a late 14th-century, alliterative verse romance, chronicling the adventures of Sir Gawayne, a knight of King Arthur’s Court. Note that some versions of the text spell Sir Gawayne as Sir Gawain.

    Reading this text should take approximately 4 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: The material above, “Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight,” is available in the public domain.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Montgomery Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Arthurian Literature and Its Themes”

    Link: iTunes U: Montgomery Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Arthurian Literature and Its Themes” (iTunes U)

    Instructions: Listen to this lecture for more information on supernatural themes in Medieval Romance literature.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.3 Chaucer and *The Canterbury Tales*   3.3.1 What Was Chaucer?   - Reading: Harvard University’s The Geoffrey Chaucer Page: L.D. Benson’s “The Life of Chaucer” and “Chronology of Chaucer”

Link: Harvard University’s The Geoffrey Chaucer Page: L.D. Benson’s
[“The Life of
Chaucer”](http://courses.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echaucer/special/varia/life_of_Ch/ch-life.html)
(HTML) and [“Chronology of
Chaucer”](http://courses.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echaucer/special/varia/life_of_Ch/chrono.html)
(HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read both brief essays for more information about
Chaucer’s life and times.

Reading these documents should take approximately 15 minutes.

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.3.2 Metrical Innovation - Chaucer’s New Narrative Style   - Reading: Harvard University’s The Geoffrey Chaucer Page: L.D. Benson’s “The High Style” and Rice University: Suzanne Kemmer’s “A Brief History of English”: “Middle English Period (c.a. 1100 - 1500)”

Link: Harvard University’s The Geoffrey Chaucer Page: L.D. Benson’s
[“The High
Style”](http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/special/litsubs/style/)
(HTML) and Rice University: Suzanne Kemmer’s [“A Brief History of
English”: “Middle English Period (c.a. 1100 - 1500)”](#mid) (HTML)

Instructions: Read the essay on “The High Style” for information
about Chaucer’s narrative style, including his development of a new
style. Then, in the “Middle English Period” section of Kemmer’s “A
Brief History of English,” scroll down to 1380 ca., read the brief
introductory text and click on the link to “Excursus: Chaucer’s
Canterbury Tales” for a brief introduction to his use of language.
Examine the picture of Chaucer’s manuscript.

Reading these documents should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.3.3 The Canterbury Tales: “The General Prologue”   - Reading: Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales: “The General Prologue”

Link: Chaucer’s *The Canterbury Tales*: [“The General
Prologue”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/THE-CANTERBURY-TALES-2.pdf) (PDF)  

 Instructions: Read “The General Prologue” to Chaucer’s *The
Canterbury Tales*. Geoffrey Chaucer’s *The Canterbury Tales* is a
collection of stories narrated by pilgrims from all walks of
life—from miller to knight—written in the late 14th century.

Reading this document should take approximately 3 hours.  

 Terms of Use: *The Canterbury Tales* is available in the public
domain.
  • Lecture: iTunes U: Montgomery Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Irony and Character in Chaucer’s General Prologue”

    Link: iTunes U: Montgomery Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Irony and Character in Chaucer’s General Prologue” (iTunes U)

    Instructions: Listen to this lecture, which should provide an excellent introduction and analysis to Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.3.4 The Sound of Middle English: Audio Version of The Canterbury Tales and Exercises in Pronunciation     - Reading: Harvard University’s “Chaucer’s Pronunciation, Grammar, and Vocabulary”

Link: Harvard University’s [“Chaucer’s Pronunciation, Grammar, and
Vocabulary”](http://courses.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echaucer/pronunciation/)
(QuickTime)

Instructions: Look over the 15-section tutorial to learn more about
Chaucer’s pronunciation. Use the vertical navigation bar on the left
side of the webpage to link to each tutorial.

Reading this tutorial should take approximately 1 hour.

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: W.W. Norton and Company’s The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Alfred David’s Reading of The Canterbury Tales: “The General Prologue”

    Link: W.W. Norton and Company’s The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Alfred David’s Reading of The Canterbury Tales: “The General Prologue” (Flash)

    Instructions: Listen to the recording of the “General Prologue”.

    Listening to this recording (several times as needed) and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.3.5 “The Miller’s Tale: The Prologue” and Conventions of Satire     - Reading: Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales: “The Miller’s Tale: The Prologue” and Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary Terms and Definitions”: “Medieval Estates Satire”

Link: Chaucer’s *The Canterbury Tales*: [“The Miller’s Tale: The
Prologue”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/THE-CANTERBURY-TALES-2.pdf)
(PDF) and Carson-Newman College: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler’s “Literary
Terms and Definitions”: [“Medieval Estates
Satire”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Medieval-estates-satire.pdf) (PDF)

Instructions: Read “The Miller’s Tale: The Prologue” from *The
Canterbury Tales*, as well as Dr. Wheeler’s definition of “Medieval
Estates Satire” for more information about the specific historical
context and genre of “The Miller’s Tale.”  

Note the following information about “The Miller’s Tale.” The order
of story-telling is significant. The story follows “The Knight’s
Tale,” and since the knight holds the highest social rank of the
Canterbury pilgrims, his story reflects this ranking. It is a tale
of classical chivalry and serious ethical issues. “The Miller’s
Tale,” however, is a bawdy story with the plot based on two stock
fabliaux. A fabliaux is a short, usually ironic, and lewd story
which is often quite funny. These stories were popular throughout
the middle ages and were extremely popular in 14th century England.
The Miller succeeds the Knight in story-telling order, which does
not follow social protocol at all, but the rude tale does form a
distinct counterpoint to the elegant “The Knight’s Tale,” and serves
notice that Chaucer’s fictive social will not follow expected
conventions. Note the use of puns and language play in the story.

Reading these documents should take approximately 2 hours.

Terms of Use: “Literary Terms and Definitions” is copyrighted by Dr.
L. Kip Wheeler with permission granted for non-profit, educational,
and student reproduction. The original version can be
found [here](http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/diagram_4English.html). Please
respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages
above. *The Canterbury Tales* is available in the public domain.

3.3.6 “The Wife of Bath’s Tale: The Prologue”: Feminism and Antifeminism   - Reading: Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales: “The Wife of Bath’s Tale: The Prologue”

Link: Chaucer’s *The Canterbury Tales*: [“The Wife of Bath’s Tale:
The
Prologue”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/THE-CANTERBURY-TALES-2.pdf)
(PDF)  

 Instructions: Read this text. “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” and its
“Prologue” are among the most discussed of the Canterbury pilgrim
stories. Contemporary feminist critics have claimed the wife as an
early feminist, but most critics respond that this characterization
is both anachronistic and inaccurate. The wife is a complex
character, and Chaucer lavishes her with descriptive detail. “The
Prologue” opens with her claiming her authority in matters of
marriage and sexuality. She presents herself as a defender of
women’s right to power in relationships. She recites and interprets
scripture and other learned texts, but it is clear that her learning
is filled with inaccuracies and her interpretation of scripture is
suspect. Readers can find reason to like, dislike as well as to feel
pity, admiration, or disgust for this complex character. Though “The
Prologue” is long, it offers rewarding insight into the
characterization of the wife.

Reading this document should take approximately 5 hours.

Terms of Use: *The Canterbury Tales* is available in the public
domain.
  • Reading: iTunes U: Montgomery Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Authority and Experience in Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath’s Tale’”

    Link: iTunes U: Montgomery Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Authority and Experience in Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath’s Tale’” (iTunes U)

    Instructions: Listen to this lecture to supplement your reading of “The Wife of Bath’s Tale.”

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.4 The Growth of Drama     3.4.1 The Cycle Plays and Their Social Context   - Reading: Brander Matthews’ “The Medieval Drama” and Robert Huntington Fletcher’s “Medieval Drama: An Introduction to Middle English Plays”

Brander Matthews’ [“The Medieval
Drama”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/THE-MEDIEVAL-DRAMA.pdf) (PDF) and
Robert Huntington Fletcher’s [“Medieval Drama: An Introduction to
Middle English
Plays”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Medieval-Drama-luminarium.pdf) (PDF)

Instructions: Read all four pages of Matthew’s “The Medieval Drama”
for more context on the evolution of cycle plays, including mystery
plays and miracle plays. Also, note the reference to these plays as
part of play cycles. Read Fletcher’s “Medieval Drama” for a more
explicit overview of the function of cycle plays.

Reading these documents should take approximately 2 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: “The Medieval Drama” and “Medieval Drama: An
Introduction to Middle English Plays” are available for viewing in
the public domain.

3.4.2 “The Second Shepherds’ Play,” Social Commentary, and Religion   - Reading: Folger Shakespeare Library’s “A Field Guide to ‘The Second Shepherds’ Play’” and University of Michigan’s version of “The Second Shepherds’ Play”

Link: Folger Shakespeare Library’s [“A Field Guide to ‘The Second
Shepherds’ Play’”](http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=2519)
(HTML) and University of Michigan’s version of [“The Second
Shepherds’
Play”](http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=cme;idno=Towneley;rgn=div1;view=text;cc=cme;node=Towneley%3A13) (HTML)  

 Also available in:  

([Kindle)](http://www.amazon.com/Everyman-Second-Shepherds-Play-ebook/dp/B001RIYNDO)  

 Instructions: Read “A Field Guide to ‘The Second Shepherds’ Play’”
for a brief background on the play. Then, read “The Second
Shepherds’ Play”.

“The Second Shepherd’s Play,” the most famous of the medieval
mystery plays performed in cycles, balances comical and religious
elements with memorable finesse.

Reading these documents should take approximately 2 hours and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.4.3 The Morality Plays and the Birth of Professional Theater     - Reading: Catholic Encyclopedia’s “Moralities”

Link: *Catholic Encyclopedia*’s
[“Moralities”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Moralities.pdf) (PDF)

Instructions: Read this brief article, “Moralities,” for information
about the development and significance of morality plays in the
Middle Ages. Pay attention to the relationship between morality
plays with the Medieval Church, especially the ethical, didactic
function of the plays.

Reading this document should take approximately 30 minutes.

Terms of Use: The article above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to *Catholic Encyclopedia*, and the original version can
be found
[here](http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Moralities).

3.4.4 Everyman and Thematic and Generic Conventions of Middle English Drama     - Reading: Anniina Jokinen’s “Introduction to Everyman”; Everyman

Link: Anniina Jokinen’s [“Introduction to
Everyman”](http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/intro.htm) (HTML); *[Everyman](http://www.dramageeks.com/)*[](http://www.dramageeks.com/) (PDF)

Also available in:  

([Kindle)](http://www.amazon.com/Everyman-Second-Shepherds-Play-ebook/dp/B001RIYNDO)

Instructions: Read Anniina Jokinen’s “Introduction to Everyman” for
more basic information about the historical context behind the play.
Also, read Everyman. Everyman, a late 15th-century morality play,
employs allegory in its dramatization of the moral struggle of the
average Christian.

Reading these documents should take approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above. Everyman is available in the public
domain.

3.5 Mystical Religious Writings     3.5.1 Dream Visions, Mysticism, and a New Understanding of the Relationship between Man and God     - Reading: Catholic Encyclopedia’s “Mysticism” and “Interpretation of Dreams”

Link: *Catholic Encyclopedia*’s
[“Mysticism”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Mysticism.pdf) (PDF) and
[“Interpretation of
Dreams”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Interpretation-of-Dreams.pdf)[ ](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Interpretation-of-Dreams.pdf)(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Read both definitions for more information about the
Medieval Ages turn to dreams, mysticism, and vision in order to
understand religion.

Reading these documents should take approximately 45 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: The articles above are released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to *Catholic Encyclopedia*, and the original version can
be found
[here](http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Mysticism)
and
[here](http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Interpretation_of_Dreams),
respectively.

3.5.2 Women and the Church   - Reading: iTunes U: Arizona State University: Dr. Andrew Barnes’s “Directions of Change in Women’s Lives, 1200 - 1800 (Part 1)”

Link: iTunes U: Arizona State University: Dr. Andrew
Barnes’s [“Directions of Change in Women's Lives, 1200 - 1800 (Part
1)”](http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/asu-public.1641235993.01641235995.2313684705?i=1863008037)
(iTunes U)

Instructions: Listen from about minute 28:00 to 31:30 to the
“Directions of Change in Women’s Lives, 1200 - 1800 (Part 1)”
lecture for an overview on women’s restricted autonomy in Medieval
culture and the potential for fulfillment through involvement in the
Medieval Church.

Listening to this portion of the lecture and pausing to take notes
should take less than 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.5.3 Depictions of God and Changes in the Church   - Reading: Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love: “To the Reader” and “Chapters 1 - 3 and 58 - 60”; University of Rochester: Lynn Staley’s edited version of The Book of Margery Kempe: “Book I”; Virtual Library’s “The Great Schism”

Link: Julian of Norwich’s *Revelations of Divine Love*: [“To the
Reader” and “Chapters 1 - 3 and 58 -
60”](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Revelations-of-divine-love.pdf) (PDF);
University of Rochester: Lynn Staley’s edited version of *The Book
of Margery Kempe*: [“Book
I”](http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/kemp1frm.htm) (HTML);
Virtual Library’s [“The Great
Schism”](http://www.vlib.us/medieval/lectures/great_schism.html)
(HTML)  

 Also available in:  

([Kindle)](http://www.amazon.com/Book-Margery-Kempe-ebook/dp/B002RI97XO)  
    
 Instructions: From *Revelations of Divine Love*, read the section
titled “To the Reader,” as well as Chapters 1 - 3 and Chapters 58 -
60. From *The Book of Margery Kempe*, read Book I; please note that
as you read this text, you will want to consult the footnotes. Then,
read the article titled “The Great Schism” for an overview of the
state of the Church at the time of these women writers.  

 Both Julian of Norwich’s Revelations and Margery Kempe’s eponymous
book articulate mystical religious devotions and present images of
monastic life in the late Middle Ages.

Reading these documents should take approximately 12 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: *Revelations of Divine Love* is available in the
public domain. Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.
  • Reading: iTunes U: Montgomery County Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Women’s Devotional Literature of the Middle Ages”

    Link: iTunes U: Montgomery County Community College: Dr. Catherine Carsley’s “Women’s Devotional Literature of the Middle Ages” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Listen to this lecture, which focuses specifically on both Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love and Kempe’s The Book of Margery Kempe.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Depictions of God and Changes in the Church”

    Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Depictions of God and Changes in the Church” (PDF)

    Instructions: Read this text to supplement your understanding of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love and Kempe’s The Book of Margery Kempe.

    Reading this text should take approximately 15 minutes.