FC.071B Medieval women and the birth of Western romance

FC.071B Medieval women and the birth of Western romance
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One of the hallmarks of Western Civilization is the relatively high status women have progressively gained, especially in the past century. However, the roots of this progress lie in medieval Europe with the rising cult of the Virgin Mary, the Courtly Love movement, and changing marriage patterns in the wake of the Black Death. This lesson starts with quotations by various medieval writers (even including one woman) on attitudes toward women. The flowchart then looks at the status of medieval women in three classes: peasant, middle class, and noble.

Of particular interest is the effect of the Courtly Love movement and the emerging ideas of true love and what constitutes an ideal lover. It then explores how this movement spread and became the basis for modern ideas on romance and the code of chivalry which ruled men's behavior toward women until the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1970s, and still has influence, in particular with the older generation.

This is a self-contained PowerPoint that develops slide by slide while other notes for the students scroll down the side. It can be run as a timed presentation on its own, presented slide by slide for discussion, or integrated into your other lectures. There are also extensive pictures with captions mixed in to illustrate the lesson and capture students’ interest. This packet also contains a student reading, flowchart, and the author’s own research notes which contain lots of details and interesting trivia to spice up your class.

For more information on my flowcharts and approach to teaching history, please view my profile or visit my website at www.flowofhistory.com

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
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Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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