Influential People: from 1100 to Nowadays
Have you ever seen a shirt, watched a movie, or read a book and thought to yourself, this reminds me of the ’90s, or another time in the past? We can connect to previous and future time periods in many ways. In the following paper, we will go over three different novels and an essay. Each of these is a representation of its time period. We will discuss how they fit in with different time periods and also how they fall into the time period they were written.
The first-time period we will visit is middle English (1100 to 1400). We are going to discuss Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The Canterbury tales have four different stories. Each of these stories is written in vernacular. Which we learn that vernacular means the language that people speak(study.com). During this time period of Middle English, the educated people would write and speak in Latin. Geoffrey Chaucer was an early example of vernacular writing and wrote in the language everyday people could read and speak in. He bridged the gap so that most of society could also become literate. Geoffrey Chaucer was a pioneer to not only allow the upper classes to communicate but all classes. Literature in the current day is written in the primary language of that culture so that all can comprehend its meaning.
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Next, we are going to travel into the time period of the Renaissance Era (1500 to 1670). William Shakespeare was the man of this time period. Shakespeare started his calling of writing during the rule of Elizabeth I, during her time (1558-1603) England thrived. Queen Elizabeth has remained one of the greatest rulers in English history and she loved the theatre. William is frequently discussed to be an Elizabethan playwright and poet. She had a great influence on his plot selection and style that made him world-famous. Shakespeare incorporated both comedy and drama from earnest kings to vulgar drinking houses to cross-town lovers. William Shakespeare is still very popular today, but his plays and poems are absolutely fitting for his time period.
Finally, we are going to explore the 18th century and how Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women came about. Mary Wollstonecraft is known to be a feminist of her time and a pioneer of women’s rights. (Mary Wollstonecraft and William Goodwin: Politics and Essays, Ellie Green). Mary’s earliest texts were written about education. She was a school teacher and a governess, so it is of no surprise that she would write about something she cares deeply about. In 1790, she writes “A Vindication of the Rights of Men.” This is a reply to the 1790 storming of the Bastille as part of the French Revolution during her time and Edmund Burke, who wrote Reflections on the Revolution in France. Mary had a strong dislike for him and once said “Burke’s thoughts were the stupidest defense of monarchy ever” (Mary Wollstonecraft and William Goodwin: Politics and Essays, Ellie Green). A Vindication of the Rights of Men is a “pro-republic, anti-aristocracy thing that harshly strikes at the social convention and government opulence” (Mary Wollstonecraft and William Goodwin: Politics and Essays, Ellie Green). She then decided to write the opposing argument in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. She strongly believed that men and women were both born with the same capability to reason.
Women should be able to participate in education, and influence society as men get to. One of Wollstonecraft’s greatest arguments for the women’s education movement was that when women raise children they cannot teach as well if they have no basic foundation of learning themselves. She believes that all children should be able to have the chance to have an education, free of cost. The school should be paid by the public taxes. This sounds a lot like what we have today with the public-school systems. Towards the end, she states that she has confidence in “a future with educated women will be much brighter than a future without them.” Women are important to the country since they teach the children, and they are companions to men.
Virginia Woolf is known for being a feminist in the early 20th century. She was around when the movement started to roll. She wrote Room of One’s Own, and she also addresses the fact that women need to be educated. She makes an argument about women being underprivileged and used an example of Shakespeare having a fictional sister who could have been a genius too but didn’t acquire the same schooling (Mary Wollstonecraft and William Goodwin: Politics and Essays, Ellie Green). What would have happened if this fictional person could have been educated? Maybe she could have rivaled Shakespeare himself. Her essay could have been placed in today’s modern time of feminist. She is really before her time period, with this writing.
People who are in a position of influence are an important part of world history. They can be looked upon as heroes for all and affect current and future time periods. Those same people take inspiration from icons all across history and the environment around them to become their own leader in some way, shape, or form. We also do the same to influence future generations.
Green, E. (2018). Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com.
Available at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/introduction-to-shakespeare-life-and-works.html [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].
Green, E. (2018). Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin: Politics and Essays – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com.
Available at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/mary-wollstonecraft-and-william-godwin-politics-and-essays.html [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Plot Analysis.
Available at: https://www.shmoop.com/a-vindication-of-the-rights-of-woman/plot-analysis.html [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].
Sjol, K. (2018). Introduction to Chaucer: Middle English and the Canterbury Tales – Video & Lesson
Available at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/introduction-to-chaucer-middle-english-and-the-canterbury-tales.html [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].