Medieval Entertainment

The purpose of our medieval fair is to educate people about a specific point in history while entertaining them, but have you ever wondered what entertainment was like in medieval times? Medieval entertainers were a wide and varied group, including jesters, mummers (masked entertainers at festivals), minstrels, troubadours, and others.

Something worth noting is that the word “minstrel” is not interchangeable with “troubadour”. First of all, troubadours had a higher social station than minstrels. Did you know that Richard the Lionheart of England was also a troubadour? To the contrary, minstrels were servants merely commissioned to play music in their castle. Minstrel even means “little servant” in an old medieval language. Additionally, troubadours concerned themselves primarily with songs of chivalry and courtly love, as well as writing poetry. However, masters required minstrels to have other skills besides music playing, including juggling, acrobatics, dancing, fire eating, and even animal training (for including animals such as dogs and monkeys in their shows).

Some minstrels even go on to become jesters and specialize in buffoonery, which simply means making a fool out of one’s self for the entertainment of others. Did you visit our fair last year? King Arthur actually knighted his jester, Sir Dagonet. It was in part a joke, but also in part a cautionary measure, since some of Dagonet’s jokes were so offensive that other knights were ready to attack him. Nevertheless, he was a full member of the Round Table.

Who knew that minstrels and troubadours led such colorful lives? Next time you see a band performing at our fair, think about what their job could be like if we really lived in medieval times!

Published in: on September 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

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