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8-08-2015, 16:19

SYMBOLIC CEREMONIES: PUBLIC AND PRIVATE

The late Middle Ages saw the increase in desire for private spaces, as well as domestic comfort. The great hall still formed the focal point of castle life and architectural design and the stage for ceremony and feasting (Documents 68 and 69). The lord and lady of the castle and their guests seated at the high table were served a banquet of three to five courses, each of which might have as many as fifteen dishes. Those at the tables in the hall usually had a buffet with much less food. Heavy food was served first and delicacies and sweets at the end. Wine was the usual drink; spiced wine was served at the end of the feast. Between the last courses spectacular displays of food, such as swans or peacocks that had been roasted and then returned to their skin and feathers, might be presented. At this time live human actors might perform skits or juggling or gymnastic acts. From the minstrelís gallery over the screens passage musicians entertained. The musicians might be in the permanent employ of the castle or they might wander from place to place, and so they also brought the latest news and gossip. In the fifteenth century they even organized into guilds.

 

 

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