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Word Count: 673
The Black Death Greatly Improved the European Society Throughout history many unforgettable events have affected the literature of the time wars revolutions industrialization and disease Although many critics very quickly point out the changes in literature that the industrial revolution caused not many of those critics are willing to dig any deeper into the past However the fourteenth century contained changes in literature that were just as dramatic The repeated outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague in that century led to many significant changes in European society that therefore deeply enhanced the content quantity and the moral values of the audience of medieval literature The Bubonic Plague also known as the Black Death killed one third of the population of Europe during its reign in the 13th and 14th centuries The impact of this mass killer caused enormous havoc to the medieval society because of its unknown origin the unknown causes and preventions and most significantly its deathly results Changes in the content of literature occurred drastically not only the complete change of the language but also moral values began to be taught rather than solely literature written for entertainment In a book The Courtier Baldassare Castiglione described the proper manners for gentlemen and ladies to live by Chambers et al 357 This change in moral codes of society also brought about changes in the curriculums taught in schools Education began to include an attempt to improve physical moral and social development Chambers et al 356 Children were now taught social graces including dancing and courteous manners and were also taught riding and fencing to aid in the improvement in the physical fitness aspect of education Printing Presses became contemporaries of the darkest of the plague years Herrlihy 50 Johannes Gutenberg was the first to prove this and his alloy is still the basis of the printers art Chambers et al 321 These new presses allowed for cheaper faster and more accurate duplication
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