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Themes Of The Dark Ages

Decent Essays
The Dark Ages-Themes 5 and 4

Perhaps one of the biggest juxtapositions of the dark ages is it’s incredible and near constant change in society as a whole, and next no no change in to the life of the individual. Oceans would rise, empires would fall, and a peasant's routine would remain the same, as would their non existent and unchanging opinion on politics and religion. A World Lit only by Fire by William Manchester gives a clear picture the peasantries uninformed view of the toiling church with the section “The folk were baptized, shriven, attended mass-and received the last rights never dreaming that they should be informed about great event” (Pg. 22). Compare this to the modern age, were any man can look on a website or pick up a newspaper and read dozens of varying opinions on subjects by people just like themselves, and can formulate their own educated opinion as a result.

However, when the dark ages are looked at from an overarching and governmental level, the injustice and bleakness can only be seen further. Europe's government primarily consisted of hereditary monarchs, touted by William’s novel as “Largely a medieval innovation” (Pg. 14), and the new aristocracy that would serve in the emperor's name and would also eventually gain power through hereditary privilege. However, the power of the imperial governments of Europe could only exist with the presence of the Christian church, whose religion had become nearly completely intertwined with everyday life. “A
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