Middle Age Entertainers

Middle Age Entertainers

Length: 1984 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Middle Age Entertainers

Both entertainment and education have been integrals parts of the human experience since the beginnings of time. Many scholars insist that the two institutions often serve
jointly, with entertainers and entertainment serving as a main source of education.
There is little argument, then, that in addition to generally appealing to the masses, entertainers have regularly fulfilled the role of a teacher to typically unsuspecting
audiences. Entertainers have served as educators throughout history, from the origins of oral narratives through the Middle Ages.

The earliest forms of unwritten communication were essentially used to spread knowledge from one source to another. Religious disciplines were the first information passed from person to person through entertainment. In the third century B.C., Buddhist monks tried to win converts outside India through the use of theater and song (Burdick 97).

They taught the precepts of Siddhartha and Buddha in such theatrical epics as Ramayana and Mahabharata, setting exacting rules for theater performance in the process (Burdick 99). Similarly, Irish monks established singing schools, which taught uniform use of music throughout the church (Young 31). Through chants which were all the same, they spread identical teachings. Christian psalms and hymns in Apostolic times were sung to spread the knowledge and faith of Christianity. In fact, Christianity was promoted from the start by music. Churches were for long the only centers of learning, with monks teaching all lessons through music (Young 39). Through the use of sacred music, monks and clergy successfully spread the teachings of their religions in a practical manner.

Entertainers used the theater as a place to tell the stories of the day, both fictional and topical. The African oral tradition was rich in folk tales, myths, riddles, and proverbs, serving a religious, social, and economic function (Lindfors 1). Likewise, Asian actors covered their faces with masks in order to act out a scandal of the day without the audience knowing who was passing along the gossip (Archer 76). European
puppets were another medium which permitted entertainers to spread current gossip without revealing the identity of the storyteller (Speaight 16).

The theatrical productions of the Greeks further explored the use of theater as an instructional tool. Because the theater provided such a diverse forum for expression, stage actors and playwrights consistantly utilized this locale to eduate the general public.

Oral communication was widely used to educate society about morals and basic truths.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Middle Age Entertainers." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Sep 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Weddings of the Middle Ages Essay

- Weddings of the Middle Ages As the ages have past weddings have changed, the most interesting weddings took place in the middle ages. Middle ages were full of mystery and lust, women were not merely wives but prizes and a possession, rarely was it love. The reasons of which people were married was determined by their class. Most of the marriage laws we know today evolved during this era. The celebrations were extravagant, full of color and magnificent entertainment and exquisite feasts, radical compared to prior ages....   [tags: European History]

Research Papers
1114 words (3.2 pages)

A Middle Age Adult And Learn About Their Lives Essay

- In Life-Span Development class we were each assigned to interview a second adult and learn about their lives. This time I choose a middle-age adult in order to compare the results to the statistics and theories taught in class. I had several candidates for this interview, but I ended up interviewing my thirty-five year old cousin, Freddy Morales. Just like my last interview, I had to conduct this interview over the phone since he lives in Dallas. During the Interview, I was able to compare and contrast his life with the standard life of a middle-aged male according to Santrock....   [tags: Middle age, Old age, Midlife crisis, Goal]

Research Papers
1146 words (3.3 pages)

Development At Middle Age Is Affected By Physical, Emotional, Cognitive And Social Transitions

- Development at middle age is affected by physical, emotional, cognitive and social transitions. Jeff is a 50 year old man that has transitioned from young adulthood to now a middle aged adult. Jeff had issues with his weight when he was younger and now he has acquired obesity, high blood pressure and type II diabetes, all of which can cause significant changes in his health (Argosy Course Notes, 2015). Jeff is also now the CEO of a small company that he built from the ground up, which in turn causes much stress for Jeff and his family....   [tags: Middle age, Old age, Young adult, Meaning of life]

Research Papers
1294 words (3.7 pages)

The History of Acting Essay

- Have you ever seen a movie or play and thought to yourself “Man, that is so cool. I wonder what the past behind all these actors and plays are”. The history of acting and theater has evolved greatly since its creation, and has a long and in-depth past. The history of acting and theater is comprised of many components, including Greek/Roman Theater, Middle Ages Theater, European/Renaissance Theater, Elizabethan Theater, and Modern Theater. The history of acting started out in Ancient Greece and Rome, where its deepest roots come from....   [tags: Modern Theater, Middle ages]

Research Papers
1294 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Effects Of Bullying On The Middle School Age

- In a society that focus so much on oneself, the youth of today are become even more vicious with the attacks on their fellow students and the adults are given even less authority to correct the issues. Being different is what makes this world work. If every single person was the same, then certain parts of a societal structure would never be fulfilled. Although, this is something that is truly not learned until one is an adult. Bullying starts to typical worsen around the middle school age, but can start in the elementary school age (Fritz, 2011)....   [tags: High school, Middle school, Suicide, Bullying]

Research Papers
1140 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Ageism Of Middle Aged Adults

- Ageism in Middle-Aged Adults Miesha Bell Southern Methodist University Adults entering the midlife years (middle adulthood) are experiencing an overabundance of life changes. Hall, Hernandez, Wong, and Justice (2015) stated that, during middle adulthood important changes occur across the physical, cognitive, and social domains of development. There is a mounting amount of research on the changes that middle-aged adults experience. One of the most unexplored factor that middle-aged adults experience is Ageism....   [tags: Middle age, Old age, Discrimination, Ageing]

Research Papers
1026 words (2.9 pages)

The Middle East Essay

- The True Beginning The Middle East has been considered the hub for the focal point of the world’s religions. However, the Middle East in itself has contributed to the innovation and evolution of all aspects in society since its beginning. Throughout its four regimes it has contributed culturally, ethnically and religiously in many methods. But, the early modern regime controlled itself and managed to blossom itself to the world religiously, ethnically, and culturally. The Middle East has flourished on its religious strengths and backgrounds....   [tags: Islam, Middle Ages, Middle East, Age of Discovery]

Research Papers
1388 words (4 pages)

The Social Construction Of Age Essay

- The social construction of age in regards to self and other has influenced the geographies of inclusion and exclusion. People are othered based on their differences in what is perceived to be appropriate in society. In society the middle-aged people are not discriminated against to a large extent compared to the young and older people since they are considered to be the suitable individuals in society. Society has seen young people being othered due to their behaviour and maturity. Similarly, in society, older people are viewed differently compared to the young and middle-aged individuals because of their need to depend on other people....   [tags: Middle age, Old age, Gerontology, Ageing]

Research Papers
1164 words (3.3 pages)

The Nature Vs Nurture Influences On Middle Age People Essay

- The Nature Vs Nurture Influences On Middle Age People Both nature and nurture play a major role in human life. nature is a human being natural character which is comes from genetic makeup and nurture other character influence factor which mainly influence by the environment which we are in and surround our self. traits like height, weight, skin color, and physical appearance, aging is majorly affected by of nature. All human being regardless of their age will have those all traits received from their biological parents and ancestors....   [tags: Nature versus nurture, Human nature, Middle Ages]

Research Papers
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Middle Ages: Dark or Not? Essay

- In the year 476 A.D., Rome officially fell as the greatest and most thriving empire at the time. The time period following this downfall was called the Middle Ages, more infamously recalled as the Dark Ages; but were these years truly as dark as historians say. These medieval times lasted for approximately one thousand years, could such a long time period have been all that dreadful. The answer will soon become clear. The Middle Ages deserved to have the alias of the Dark Ages because there were several severe illnesses, the monarchs were cruel, and the crusades brought the death of many....   [tags: Roman empire, middle age, bubonic plague]

Research Papers
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Related Searches

The most highly developed theoretical discussions from ancient times were those of he Greeks, who passed on this knowledge through music and stories. Homer, the eighth-century B.C. poet, court singer, and storyteller, embodied ideal Greek morals and heroic conduct in his spoken epic, The Iliad (Beye 1). Homer and other poets used qualities
not found in written language to make the memorization of their works easier so their sagas could be repeated for generations (Edwards 1).

African tribes people and Native Americans also instilled morals and lessons to their communities through stories and fables (Edwards 1). These oral narratives were soon after recorded on paper as early forms of literature became prevalent.

Many of the thoughts previously expressed through oral communication only could now be recorded for the future as writing became wide-spread. The era of writing began with Chinese literature more than 3,500 years ago, as the Chinese recorded tales on oracle bones (Mair 1).

The Greeks, however, were the first known civilization to translate their oral history into writing (Henderson 1). While the earliest Greek literature was produced by the Indo-Europeans in 2,000 B.C., the most essential works began in Ionia with the epics of Homer in the eighth century B.C. (Henderson 7). This oral poetry is the foundation of Greek
literature, and epic poetry such as Boetian¹s Hesiod explored the poet¹s role as a social and religious teacher (Henderson 8). These written works clearly informed those who read them, but were not as successful in educating the masses as the Greek dramas. Any spoken works that were especially significant could now be transcribed for posterity and future use.

Greek plays were also recorded on paper beginning around 500 B.C., reflecting issues of the day and entertaining audiences concurrently. The tragedies of Euripides reflect political, social, and intellectual crisis.

Plays such as The Bacchae reflect the dissolution of common values of the time, while other works criticized traditional religion or represented mythical figures as unheroic (Segal 1). Each Greek drama was similarly structured: problems were ³presented by the chorus, and resolved in purely conventional--but always instructive--ways² (Burdick 18).

Topical comedies reflected the heroic spirit, and problems facing Greek society during
times of great change (Henderson 2). Meanwhile, the dramas of Socrates spoke about ethical and moral change, while Demosthenes¹ speeches hardened Athenian opposition to Phillip of Macedon (Henderson 2). Similarly, the Greek dramatist Aeschylus used his plays as a ³forum for resolving moral conflicts and expressing a grandeur of thought !
and language² (Segal 1). Because all social classes of the community could enjoy and understand the plays, Greek drama was a major force in educating the public.

Following the onset of the second century, considerable movement took place across Europe. Between 950 and 1350, the population of Western Europe doubled (Lindsay 26-33). A shortage of teachers caused eager minds to look elsewhere for education. Many of those traveling were instrumental in spreading ideas, stories, and songs across the countryside. A new kind of entertainer, the troubadours, served as the new commentators of the day, successfully blending verse and music. Their poetry was the first to
³set about the conscious creation of a literary speech in the vernacular² (Bogin 44). In songs called sirventes, the troubadours discussed current affairs, politics,
personalities, and scandals (Grunfield 25). Many troubadour songs have texts referring to the Crusades of the fourteenth century. Their crusading songs, such as those undoubtedly connected with the campaign against the Arabs in Spain, brought political unrest to the attention of the average citizen (Lindsay 61). Rog! er II, however, protected Arab-speaking poets who rubbed shoulders with his own Latin writers (Lindsay 44). Bertrand de Born became famous for writing warmongering songs that ³stirred up barons and provoked kings into going to war² (Grunfield 25). Walther von der Vogelwiede attained a unique position among troubadours by transforming ³the short poem of proverbial wisdom into a political weapon of satire and patriotism² (Hering 1).

Wandering troubadours sang most often about courtly love, but used their unique form of entertainment to express concerns regarding social and political topics to the general public.

Entertainers of the twelfth century also informed the public of the principles of topics such as chivalry and religion. Troubadour Guilhem de Poitou caused a sensation among friends and courtiers after writing about love in a way that became the code for chivalry (Bogin 37-39). He later spent a year among people of Antioch learning Arabic songs of Syria, which he brought back to France (Lindsay 4). Poet Gerbert made
contributions to geometry, music theory, and arithmetic in his works which customarily valued philosophy over prayer (Lindsay 45). The religious songs of Martin Luther forced poets and scholars to take sides during the Religious conflict of the Reformation (Hering 2). Luther¹s chorale ³Ein¹ feste Burge² became a national hymn during the reformation of the Catholic church, encouraging followers to fight to worship in their own languages, not the universally used Latin texts (Young 66). While the troubadours
were viewed primarily as entertainers who wandered aimless! ly about the countryside singing about the virtues of courtly love, their contribution as educators to the public cannot be mistaken.

As the troubadours slowly began to disappear, new kinds of entertainers took their place, continuing to inform the general public through different mediums. The meistersinger replaced the troubadour in the late fourteenth century (Sebastian 2).

Middle and lower class meistersingers established schools for the cultivation of their craft, ensuring a more structured form of entertainment than that of the wandering troubadours (Sebastian 3). A famous early fifteenth-century manuscript at the University of Heidelberg contains hundreds poems by the most famous meistersingers as well as illustrations which are ³as entertaining as they are instructive² (Young 44). John Wilbye represented another new form of entertainer, the madrigalist, and provided studies of English landscapes in the words and music of his madrigals (Young 71).

Again, there is a wealth of evidence to show that music was used extensively to support the spread of religious belief. For example, King David in the Cante! rbury Psalter tells that ³musical sonorities² were introduced into the service of the church (Young 46). Monteverdi¹s opera L¹Incoronazions di Poppea educated audiences with its historical context and characters (Young 77). The popularity of music remained dominant throughout the Middle Ages, although writers began to entertain through the use of written poetry as well.

European writers of the Middle Ages continued to comment on morals and acceptable behavior through their works as their predecessors did almost 2,000 years before.
Hroswitha von Gandersheim, the first known woman writer, was a nun who used the Roman playwright Terence as a model for her morality plays (Hering 1). Dutch writer Jacob van Maerlant wrote poems that showcased chivalry (Flaxman 1). Spanish playwright Lope de Vega encouraged national patriotism and honor in his works that dealt with dramatic conflicts and combined tragic and comedy elements (Gasset 3).

Calderon also stresses the Spanish code of honor in his masterpiece The Mayor of Zalamea (Gasset 3). Later Francisco Gomez de Quevedo Y Villegas wrote moral works in which he explored the decadence of Spain (Gasset 3).

Social concerns inspired the writings of Italian reformer Pietro Verri, whose cynical interpretation of history established a new scientific discipline (Alvaro 1). His peer Leon Battista Alberti published On the Family, which reflected the concerns Italians for social and ethical topics (Alvaro 1).

Still, other authors such as Prince Juan Manuel of Spain wrote such seemingly simple tales as ³The Emperor¹s New Clothes,² from which reader could extract the moral lessons (Gasset 3). During this era, Europeans were constantly discussing politics and social issues, prompted by the opinions of writers who commented on the subjects.

Entertainers throughout history have undoubtedly served as educators to the public, in addition to their conventional roles as musicians or writers only. While a few performers sought only to amuse with their acts, the majority of entertainers have crafted their art with a deeper purpose in mind. Each who chose to address society¹s problems and speak to the general community through their art is as worthy an educator
as a modern-day college professor. Because many of the works of these great artists were recorded on paper or passed down from generation to generation through oral history, the insightful thoughts of these entertainers continue to educate the public in the twenty-first century.

Works Cited

1) Alvaro, Richard. ³Leon Battisa Alberti.² Grolier Multimedia
Encyclopedia. 1996 ed.

2) Archer, Katherine. ³Asian Literature.² Grolier Multimedia
Encyclopedia. 1996 ed.

3) Beye, Allan. ³The Iliad.² Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.
1996 ed.

4) Bogin, Meg. The Women Troubadours. New York: Paddington Press,

5) Burdick, Jacques. Theater. New York: Newsweek Books, 1974.

6) Edwards, Scott N. ³Homer.² Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. 1996

7) Flaxman, Jacob. ³Dutch Literature.² Grolier Multimedia
Encyclopedia. 1996 ed.

8) Gasset, John. ³Spanish Literature.² Grolier Multimedia
Encyclopedia. 1996 ed.

9) Grunfield, Frederic V. Music. New York: Newsweek Books, 1974.

10)Henderson, Florence. ³Greek Literature.² Grolier Multimedia
Encyclopedia. 1996 ed.

11)Hering, Jack. The Gypsies: Wanderers in Time. New York: Hawthorne
Press, 1969.

12)Lindfors, Sven. ³African Literature.² Grolier Multimedia
Encyclopia. 1996 ed.

13)Lindsay, Jack. The Troubadours and Their World. London: Frederick
Muller Limited, 1976.

14)Mair, Helen. ³Chinese Literature.² Grolier Multimedia
Encyclopedia. 1996 ed.

15)Sebastian, Gerald. Music In Time. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott
Co, 1952.

16)Segal, William. ³Greek Drama.² Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.
1996 ed.

17)Speaight, George. Punch and Judy. Boston: Publishers Plays, Inc.,

18)Young, Percy M. A Concise History of Music from Primitive Times to
Present. New York: D. White Co., 1974.
Return to 123HelpMe.com