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Article Title: Teachers and students


Article Summary

This article deals with the teachings in the medieval period and the kind of relationship teachers had with their students. It also sheds light on how to a significant extent, the literary culture of the Middle Ages was a complicated one involving violence.

The author starts with the story of Abelard and Heloise . Abelard was Heloise’s teacher but soon the teacher and student duo were having an affair and how the girl’s family dealt with it . She further continues that in Middle ages it was presumed the desire, suffering and fear were a fundamental part of the teacher-student relationship, and not simply because they were barbaric or uncaring towards their young. They understood that corporal punishment could make pupils rebellious, and that teachers could take advantage of their authority to exploit their students’ affection but also believed that dread, love and pain; in moderate doses and being restricted to their imagination could also make it work for their best.

Stereotypes associate the Middle Ages with the unthinkable use of violence, unenlightened discipline and retrograde hierarchies. Even the medieval lessons featured vivid violence, rape as a plot device, leaving women victims who were mostly silent and offstage. Thus to a significant extent, the literary culture of the Middle Ages was rape culture. The author concludes that  we must not presume that boys who read stories of rape always identified with the perpetrator as they raised their voices against them in a rhetoric manner . Further she emphasises on Heloise was a very capable women who did try to steer her future to it’s best course through her hard work and was equal to her teacher Abelard.

Article Link: Click here to read the full article


Words to Learn from this article:

Ostentatiously: in a pretentious or showy way designed to impress

Appease: assuage or satisfy (a demand or a feeling)

Transgression: an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offence

Narcissistic: having or showing an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance

Nubile: (of a girl or young woman) sexually mature; old enough for marriage

Dread: anticipate with great apprehension or fear

Oblates: a person who is dedicated to a religious life, but has typically not taken full monastic vows

Pedagogical: relating to teaching

Salacious: having or conveying undue or indecent interest in sexual matters

Antiquity: an object, building, or work of art from the ancient past


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