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March 26th 2020

Exploring the dark ages in Medieval Evening

Medieval Evening consisted of students from many different subjects presenting their different research of the Medieval period.

It was interesting to see how the evening proved that the so-called ‘dark ages’ were not as culturally stagnant as some media suggests. The subjects involved included Philosophy, Maths, English, History, Latin, French, Science, Drama and two musical performances.

The evening began with Ms Chandler introducing us to the misconceptions and myths of the medieval period. The Year 12 Sixth Form Philosophy class then presented the complex arguments for God’s existence. Then we were told the Miller’s Tale from the Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English and translated. It was interesting to see how different English was in the 1400s. Our minds were then blown by the Amicable, Social and Perfect numbers of maths and treated to one of the earliest medieval songs using instruments we have today, the harp and recorder. Miriam and Tiana both played beautifully and perfectly conveyed the lighthearted nature of the song, Sumer Is Icumen In. We were next taken on a whirlwind tour of medical cures in the middle ages which included rubbing a live chicken on your arm! Next Mr Crozier told the tale of Thomas Beckett and the curious stories told of him after his death and their earlier, unrelated origins.

After the interval, the Year 12 history class presented a medical king each so that the audience could vote on which king they thought was the best. Natasha then recited a poem in medieval French called 'Ballade des dames du temps Jadis' by François Villon. This was very impressive medieval French which is much more difficult to pronounce than modern French. Not only was a poem spoken in French but some satirical extracts were read in Latin from 'de nugis Curialium' by Walter Map. These were read in Latin by Rachel and then translated to English by Jood. I then participated along with Lily, Saffron and Imogen in an extract from the medieval morality play, Everyman. I enjoyed performing this extract as in the middle ages they did not use a naturalistic acting style, they used a more exaggerated style. Ingrid then gave an engaging presentation on the mythological beasts of the medieval period and their origins. I found this interesting as the beasts were quite outlandish!

To end the evening Mr Henderson performed 'Estuans Interius' from Carmina Burana (words c.12 German, music by Carl Orff, 1936). I found this impressive to watch as it is always interesting to see teachers display their other talents.

Written by Ella, Year 12


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