The Bubonic Plague: The Black Death In The Middle Ages

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The Black Death, aka The Plague, aka The Bubonic Plague, went by many names because it had a profound effect on nearly every aspect of European life in the mid 14th century. The disease not only ate away at the health and well-being of millions of people, but it led to societal, biological, and psychological chaos in the heart of Europe where Medieval society had already caused much depredation. Because of its devastation, the Plague is thought to have officially put the “dark” in Dark Ages. To first understand the Black Death and its effects, one must understand basic society of the times after the fall of Rome, and the times before the great humanistic rebirth of the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages, there was no intellectual progress…show more content…
Reactions varied, but the extremely evangelical serfs believed the disease was a punishment from god. As penance, flagellants would whip themselves in public to display humanity’s follies. The best schooling the peasants of the Middle Ages could get was from the church, their only source of hope, and but clergy suffered equally. One can only imagine the loss of hope every peasant felt when the world around them is crashing down, with no solution at their expense. This feeling of dread translates historically in many artist’s depictions of the plague. Most famous are Danse Macabre and The Triumph of Death. In Document 3, an artist depicts the plague in relation to religion. Demons shoot arrows at the peasants, symbolizing the disease, as it hit some, but missed others. These multiple artistic works relating to the obsession of death illustrate just how much of a psychological impact it had on all of the populus, not just the artists. The painters and writers just could convey it in a mechanism than most could not. But quite possibly the most disturbing reaction is conveyed via the children’s nursery rhyme that is still popular today. In it, the children sing in harmony, “ashes, ashes, we all fall down!” relating to burning of the infected bodies and eventually succumbing to the disease (Document 5). To children…show more content…
But people today would have no idea the extent of its devastating effects if it did not deeply resonate as a destroyer of not just human life, but social stability and mental well-being just as much. Not only was the Black Death a catastrophic event, it was a symbol of the darkness of the Medieval Europe where chaos was rampant and peace was

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