Welcome Lords and Ladies

Welcome Lords and Ladies, Kings and Queens. We have gathered to this meeting to express the tales to be told in the world. My name is Mary and I will be your guide through this round table discussion in God’s Kingdom.

[Enter the Characters]

Mother Jesus enters carrying the Rood through the archway. King Arthur and Queen Guinevere by his side following is Sir Gawain and Sir Launcelot. They all take their seats at the table. Next to enter to Beowulf, who walks in with a cocky stride as Grendal and his mother follow closely behind him. Everyman enters with his nose embedded in the Holy Bible. I, Mary, stand alone in the corner with a scroll in my hand listening, watching and awaiting for all this discussion about to take place. They are all seated, mead is being slowly passed around to each and the discussion begins.

The Rood gets the conversation started with a joke and the first question is asked. We start with a discussion about gender inequality in medieval times. Gender inequality changes in different readings, for example in courtly love narratives. Women are viewed as negative beings, but they still need to obey the male figures in their lives. However in Beowulf, they are celebrated and free. Until we get to a character like Guinevere. She has no children. Even though she was married to King Arthur and had all these affairs, there is no textual evidence of her having any children. She is perceived as n innocent woman because of this fact, however, in Mallory’s The Death of Arthur, when she dies, she is not “saint-like” so how is he innocent?

Women definitely play an interesting role in these texts. For instance, Guinevere and The Wife of Bath seem to have power, whereas Morgan le Fay from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight tries to fix the Arthurian court. She tries to prove that knights don’t live up their respective tile of a “ladies man.” More specifically women are considered to be deceivers of men. This is where Morgan le Fay can be seen as a manipulator. On the reverse side of this, you have Chaucer. He noticed that women are not as powerful, so he tries to give them power in his stories. There is also an openness of sexuality. Also Chaucer really tries to give women a voice, however, there is still seen as sexual beings. For instance, the Wife of Bath has five different husbands throughout her tale. The men included, old men who had money or young men who turned out to be bastards. So women are becoming empowered in these tales. Let’s take Marie De France. Yes she can be seen as bias in her story, but she is still trying to give women a voice.

Back to the Wife of Bath, she sort of give a negative light towards their empowerment. She can be seen as independent, but at the same time worse than men. She tries to find the perfect man, which is why she has different relationships. However, God gives them this ability to deceive men. It could be something that’s inborn, which helps them gave the empowerment they need to take over men.

Now it is hard to accomplish gender equality during this period of literature. Knights, for example, have a different perspective than women. They don’t look at them as something good. Women are considered to the good wife and that’s their noble work whereas the knights are noble to the king. The discussion is being brought back to the Wife of Bath, where she feels that men are allowing themselves to be stupid, and that gives them the power to deceive. This brought up an interesting point that women could only gain power through the men. They can deceive and create situations where they control them men. Chaucer appears to be making fun of the Wife of Bath; because of the features he has given her. He made her appear like a very ugly women with buckteeth, however, Chaucer could have been getting back at the horrible backlash from his rape case. So instead of empowering women, he was dragging them down. It also has been said that women don’t want power. They just want to be wives.

These texts do not embody women’s literature, however it could be a way they are gaining power over the men. A constant example being brought up is The Wife of Bath, for instance, she is a progressive woman, but at the end she is still the submissive wife. This is the fate of many of the women, regardless of rank, in the hands of their husbands. The main conclusion from this topic is that men put women in a box, and they are not progressive. This is when a heated debate broke out between two characters. Could the Wife of Bath’s tale be considered submissive or progressive? It is a toss between the two. It can be considered submissive, because she is a typical housewife. However it can be progressive, because she is embodying a sense of female empowerment. According to the debate, you have to separate the tale from the prologue, which makes sense. There is a sense of feeling limited when writing about women in medieval literature.

This sparked the topic of this lack of Women authors. Now it should take us back to the idea of what a medieval author is. It is actually a scribe. Margery Kempe, for example, she did not read or write. She had a scribe write down all her stories, which could have been written by women. This leads to a limit of respect for women in the field of literature. The males had the majority of authorship, so this creates a solid unbalance in the writing. Were men illiterate? They were not, and the same goes for women. Some women could read and write. This brought on a debate if women were illiterate. Let’s take a great author like Mallory, who references the French book numerous times throughout this works. This creates a sort of disconnect with the text. It is also the easiest way to take away the ownership of the text and themselves. It is almost like these authors are trying to say controversial stuff, but stating that someone else said it. They are trying to keep the church in mind. IF you said it, it would look very bad to the church. But if a French writer said it, suddenly it’s okay. This is a tool used to distance the authors from their work. It is a stylistic choice.

A great example that came up was Esope’s Fables. They are revisions of a classic text. It has many references from other authors and valued texts. It appears more authentic when learning or reading it. These fables were also used a teaching tools in schools to teach them about editing and revising texts. It is a socially economic thing to have many textual references, because you’d appear smarter. When you use the French language and texts, which is the language of Lords and wealth, it is like the ultimate sense of smarts.

Another topic that came up was Julian of Norwich. This text cannot be read with a pronoun or gender. The author relationship looking at these texts is about interpretation. Henryson suggests using he or she pronouns. He is always interchanging them between his characters. For instance, in the lion and the mouse tale, the mouse is referred to as a she. The pronouns’ are all misplaced in the text. Mother Jesus is another example. They are trying to highlight the “motherly nature” of Jesus. He is a giver of life and he nourished mankind. This creates a sort of confusion, because in medieval motherhood is so important to women. Even though Mother Jesus is a man, he is not a mother. This was argued against.

A Mother can be seen as a “soft sheep.” She is a nurturer. However, Jesus has done that for his followers, it is an interchanging mother. He and people should not tell the difference between the two. It cannot be measured concretely. Jesus is a man, but he is a mother. He gives life, he takes away life and he forgives. He embodies all of the aspects of a mother.

The writing is in an authentic nature. It’s the way they liked it, so they kept it. What has changed? Do you believe this literature has changed? There have been so many stories told over time. Copy write laws did not exist at this time, which is why there were so many versions of King Arthur. Now is this how it’s intended? Were these works released with the intention of being copy written? It is important to say that these are the only surviving transcripts unlike the original texts, which could have been destroyed. These changes were made and it changed the idea of the text. This caused many of the parts of the texts to be left out and the stories have been changed. This creates an overlap between readership and authorship. The edits have been recreated or revised in order for the stories to make sense. It becomes a process of thinking and doing a closer reading.

— Pause for Intermission —

What a lively discussion so far!! There were so many things discussed and so many debates. Gender inequality, personally I feel was the most heated debate. I think it is awful that us women did no get much of a voice in these texts. We should have been heard more and expressed. Also we women verbally spoke these texts, but all those thieving penholders were men. They stole our ideas and passed them off as their own. Bastards. My apologizes. Son, please forgive your mother. Mother Jesus, is a mother. He gave all of you life. He gave me life and created a new path for myself as well as Margery Kempe. One finally thing before we resume this discussion, stop changing the old texts. Be sure to keep the originals saved on those hard drives. Wait this is the middle ages. Scratch that. Keep a book.

Now back to the discussion…

Goblets had been refilled with mead as all of these lovely characters are taking their seats back at the round table.

One the topic now is muscular Christianity. Has it been seen in other texts? Well first what is muscular Christianity. It is an oppressive, aggressively motivated way of converting someone to the Christian faith. For instances, the Siege of Jerusalem destroyed the idea of Christianity. There were also critical texts of the church. Let’s take Chaucer, for example, used the concept of pilgrims on a pilgrimage. They all seemed to have a glib voice about religion, in particular, that wife of bath. She ruined the sanctity of marriage by marrying many times. Another example is Launcelot and Guinevere in the Death of Arthur. This is like the pseudo military of Christian men; which is the denying of good deeds. Knights are a major example of Christian rules. They are very pro-Christianity. This could be apart of the metaphorical view of faith. Let’s take Morgan le Fay and Sir Gaiwain. These are the pagan rules of faith.

This begins to get into the shivery of Knights, particularly in King Arthur. Is shivery outdated? It can be, but it also has a different meaning. Take the affair with Launcelot and Guinevere. Being intimate with your Queen was common practice. Shivery is not a brief expression. The women part of it is small. Knights have more of a shivery towards each other. In Sir Gaiwain and the Green Knight, shivery is seen very differently. The way you treat men and the way you treat women can create a conflict. You don’t want to offend your king, but you also don’t want to be rude to the Queen. This was the conflict Sir Gaiwain faced with Guinevere. He couldn’t be rude to her when she crawled into his bed, however, he can’t be dishonest to the king. It’s a true conflict on interests. Like in Beowulf, there was a major faith in the king and he was looked at like a God. It also is also stated that the King must give to the people and vice versa. It is interesting looking at through the religion. Why is that though? It is because religion played a major role in creating these tales.

This was hard writing about the characters, especially if they did not have much of role in the text. I realized a lot of the others had the same problem as I. It was hard coming up with information and having to read the texts ahead was a challenge. For characters like Mother Jesus, it was hard, because Jesus is essentially everywhere. Also John Kempe and myself were characters we had short roles in our texts, so it was hard learning those parts. Most of them were written in the perspective of someone else. How can you tell what’s real or what’s false? Another challenging thing was the posting, which happened around the board. Adapting these characters and posting before our initial blogs were due was hard.

[After reading their parts, the characters all stand up and exit the room…]

Thank you all for reading and being patient with me as I regale this tale of a round table discussion. We had a great time informing and entertaining you, as I hoped you had a great time reading this.

May God bless and keep you!!

— Mary



Faith or Fear?

In the fable, “Preiching of the Swallow” Esope is making a general reference to never giving up on one’s faith. Thy Swallow is always on the edge of his tiny feet, making sure thy does not get caught by the fowler The moral of this story is that thy prayers to God for as long as thy are in life. Thy swallow is saved by his faith in God. Thy has great wisdom and faith. His soul is filled with a great spirit and is always thinking on step ahead of that fowler. Always have faith on thy side, for as long as needed. If thy is in their good graces.

Thou should always be determined to their faith. Never let thy fear stop thee from achieving their goals. This fable is all about education people into their faith. The fowler is a devoid of grace. Thy fowler is similar to the evil ones who sacrificed my son on the rood. They lose thy faith and did not believe in miracles anymore. They did not see the good in him. Only evil. This is how thou should see the fowler. The sinner. The anti-Christ. The one who does not believe in a higher power. He is a temptation of great sin and shame is set aside. This is very similar to the pain and suffers thy Lord felt up until his death.

Thy Swallow avoids thy snare. He is always one step ahead of the fowler. This is how thy should look at sin. Always been on step ahead of them. Always be on thy right path towards the Heaven. After thy swallow had died, he was praised. He was seen as a clergyman for never given up on his faith. Always pressing forward and being thy best can be. Always trying to be free of sin. Thy believes the trap and the fowler represent sin. Thy swallow needs to stay one step ahead in order to avoid being caught in thy devil’s trap.

There are four blesses of the faith. One thy sins are removed. Preaching is like warning to others about the dangers of sin. To be careful of what is out there. Second thy will end the war; which is what happens at the end of this fable. The war had ended between the bird and the fowler. There was finally peace in the land. Third is a perfect day for love and charity. One should make time for thy ones thou love and also be charitable towards others. If thou does all these things well, thy will end up in God’s Heaven.

It appears that prayer is thy key to life. It will always be there for thyself when ready. Also never give up. Thou should continue to press forward and creating your own path of good faith. In the end, everything will work out for thee. Have faith and just know that God is always on thy side.

An Open Letter to the Noblemen

Esope has such a great mind of telling fables to people. Teaching tales and giving advice is what you do best. In the fable, “The Taill of the Lyoun and the Mouse,” is expression for letting the world know to be kind to their kinsmen.

The mice save the lion from this horrid fate of being caught in a net. They could have easily been killed saving their king, but they were spared. This is how a King should treat his people. They have done well by saving their king. The mice banded together, even though you could have been eaten. Thy mice are very brave and did a good deed. I praise them. Sacrifice is what makes up good morals. My son sacrificed himself for the good of others. Thou are strong. Thou needs to save the ruler of thy land.

Be brave. Be helpful to thy king. Do not take your people for grant it, Sir king of Scotland. Appreciate all they have done for you. The Lord was eventually appreciated for his praise and the miracles he performed for others. He was brave and was able to sacrifice himself for others. Are you able to say that, king? I surely hope so.

This fable also teaches bravery and strength in its utmost forms. It is the strength of these young mice that carry the king. Remember that? Thou have people working under you, helping you and making your kingdom run well. Never let it go. Never take something you have for grant it. Because what is a king without his kinsmen? Thou needs to be sure to respect and appreciate them. Thy king is of great power and is supposed to rule the land as well as keep order.

The common folk are unguided. In this fable, when they see their king in trouble, thy have no respect for him. Thy would have waited for their demands to be met before saving him. The moral of this story is to learn to mercy’s power in thy own heart. It should not be that way. Thy should always stand by King, and a king should always stand by thy people. It is a give and take relationship. Always stand by thy king. Always help thy king when he’s in trouble. As a king should always help thy noblemen when they are in trouble. Never take your noblemen for grant it, dear king as your noblemen should never take you for grant it. Appreciate each other and never let each other down.

Diamonds do not always Shine

Fables are teaching tools. Esope is no acceptation. Thou need them to learn lessons and morals. Thou are no acceptation to this. Esope has great way of telling these fables and giving moral lessons to those in need. In the fable, ““The Taill of the Cok ad the Jasp” it becomes clear that it is helpful to people who need to appreciate what they have. Appreciate that entire God and the Lord has to offer you. It’s all meant to be for a reason!!

For the Cok, all thou wanted was food instead thou found a beautiful shining bright jewel on the floor. It is not useless. Thou should know that the jewel could be used to purchase food. You know how much corn you could have, if you traded in the jewels? Thou could be rich. However, thou do not see it themselves. The jewel is beautiful, and bright, and could be used for something more. Thou should see the moral of this lesson. Thou know that the jewel means nothing and has no value, but it does. You say that this is not worth it.

This is not what you wanted. Everything happens for a reason. Thou is always being tested and being challenged. Why does thou believe finding this jewel is time for mourning and sadness? Yes it is not food. It has value in other forms. Thy understands that this is not something for you. If thou do not want the jewel, I’ll take it to get you some corn. The Lord tests us and give us everything we desire in due time. This jewel is everything you desire.

Be thankful you found something so valuable. I understand it may not have value to you, but trust me it has value to someone. It is a beautifully colored stone, I know it’s not food, but why does not thee want it? However, thou should not take things that do not belong to thee. It could be someone else’s who lost it. Your lesson here is to appreciate the things you have. I wish I could have my son here, but I cannot. I am forced to go on without him. He is forever gone and out of my life. I have accepted it and moved on.

You have to accept it. It is better to just move on rather than rant about it over and over again. I understand it is not food. It is a useless object to you. You desire corn. It is food and nourishment I get it. But do realize the whole aspect of this. You could be rich with food, if you used the knowledge gained from experience holding that jewel and sold it, you’d be rich!! You have to deal with the cards you are dealt with. You were given this jewel for a reason. You are challenged to figure out why for a reason. In doing this, the Lord will guide you and help you understand why he has instructed you to find this jewel. Please do not give up hope. The answer is there. You just have to keep searching for it.

A Mother’s Sorrow

Sorrow… Pain…Broken hearted. Thy has suffered and felt pain. My son, thou Savior. I watched you torture and ruin my flesh and blood. Thou seemed vengeance on Him for saving your souls. He was so much more to me than my son. He taught me wisdom and growth, and you destroyed him. I am here now with no son, but He did more good in the world. He is back with our God and Creator. You did not believe him. I knew he would not be with me so much, but I did not expect this bitter end for him. Why was I forced to lose Him in this way? Why was this dishonor displaced upon me? How am I expected to deal with this horrid pain? I am been feeling sympathy from everyone, but it does not help. It does not bring him back.

I am forced to just deal with it. Why? Why was I punished into dealing with this horrible fate? There is no greater hurting than boring a child, watching him grow up and then discover his fate is to die in the cross? I am covered in his blood. Covered in the Savior’s blood, because thou did not believe his miracles. Thou thought he was wicked, evil. Thou is the evil one, nor I or Him. Should be so harsh on thee? Should I just accept He is gone and I just have to deal with it? He has made many strives in his life. He has taught me to believe in what is unexplained.

Even in death he has resorted my faith. There is no faking, witchcraft or anything he did. Why did thee not believe him? Why did thee condemn him right away? He healed your wounds. Blessed your lives. Created miracles, which could not have been explained. It was explained as a miracle. Do you believe Him now? Thou need to be less judgmental and just loved him for what he I did. He was my son, your Savior and Lord; you should have just believed him instead of sacrificing him on the rood. A crown filled with thorns. I pray for thee. Why did thou take my son away from me?

Oh holy God, why did you choose him for this task? Why was he sacrificed for the sins of these lonely people? Does thou know what it’s like to loose someone you love? I know thou choose him to be a beacon for the Lord, but he did not deserve this punishment. He saved so many lives and performed many miracles. My dear child, I am sorry. I know this was your deed, you destiny, and your chosen path; but I could have protected you better. Prepared you for the horrors of the evil ones.

However you are with you father, the holy creator as it is meant to be. You will always be in my heart and my soul. I know thou is always looking down on me, watching over me and protecting as I have for you. You will always be my son and I will always love you. I apologize for the lateness of my response. My sorrow was hard to get out, because I had to take breaks. It was hard to write through the sight of sadden tears.