Life in the Medieval Era wasn’t as glamorous as people made it seem to be. Peasants and serfs had lived a hard life while the kings, queens, and lords lived luxuriously out of the expense of others who were under them. Reading and writing were luxuries only taught to those with power and money. Very few people in the middle ages were able to read and write. The only thing they could trust would be their faith in Christianity.
Due to feudalism, the Middle Ages was most possibly the worst time to live for those who weren’t kings, or lords. Common life for them included being slaves to lords which in those times were called serfs. This means that they were forced to pay high taxes for using facilities such as the mill and work long hours in their master’s land, but in exchange for their hard labor they would get protection against the tides of war, diseases, and poverty and a small place to live. Their only hope was their Christianity. It was going to church praying and waiting for their God to relieve them from their misery. While those in the higher social class were living their best lives with their castles and their many servants with a lot of food and wine and jewelry.
Before the Roman empire fell, the people in the middle ages were protected by the soldiers of the Roman Emperor. “But once the empire fell, the people didn’t have any laws protecting them so they began to trust their lords to keep the peace and to act on behalf of them” (Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio). Due to this type of ruling, feudalism began, it was the system of land ownership and duties. Due to this, not many peasants were free. They became servants to the lord”. Under the feudal system, everyone except for the king would have a ruling lord above them to where they should owe him loyalty and service. The king would give fiefs which were concessions of land to the nobles and, sometimes to the churches in exchange for the use of their soldiers or their influence on the citizens to protect the land. Most people lived in a manor, which was isolated and consisted of the castle, church, village and any surrounding farmland. The manors would receive occasional visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to the crusades or soldiers from other fiefdoms (Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio).
In many british literature books the writers try to portray the realistic life in the medieval times as much as they could in their books. Including their social, political, and economical styles. Chivalry was a big aspect in the Middle Ages and was portrayed in many prose type books. Chivalry was “a combination of qualities expected of a knight like courage, honor, courtesy and justice” (Dictionary). The knights had a code which they had to go by. It required for them to be loyal not just to each other but other people too, to work hard, and to know the code of honor. An example of that would be the book ‘Le Morte d’Arthur’, which in translation is ‘The Death of Arthur’. In that book it talks about King Arthur and his life in the Middle Ages. It especially talks about the importance of the Code of Chivalry.
The myth of ‘The Sword in the Stone’ symbolizes power, protection, and authority. It shows us the discrimination and the penetrating power of intellect in those times thorugh the book because in those times only people of higher-social class would be able to get a sort of education, where they were able to be taught how to read and write while those who were slaves to the lord or were peasants were forced to work in their mills, farms or as blacksmiths without given a chance to be taught these things just because of their lower-social class.