While watching the video, Media History, it suddenly occurred to me that the historical information I was taught in school may have actually been inaccurate. I started questioning the legitimacy of the historical facts taught to me throughout my entire educational career. What if during the medieval period an author just decided to put in his or her own personal ideas or words into someone elses work?
My reasoning for the questioning thoughts was that people during those times had to copy every work of literature by hand if they wanted to pass it on to an audience . Thus it can be easily assumed that someone would, by human nature, make a mistake and copy the piece of writing incorrectly. Since this was probably happening quite regularly during the oral and written period of media history I then began freaking out that my education could be a total miscommunication.
Think about it. I mean if an assigned writer were to change the meaning and intent made by the original author then the masses of future generations will have learned something that is technically false. What’s even more stirring is that we, the future generations, don’t even know that what we’re learning could be incorrect.
Beowulf is a perfect example of how history or literature can be changed from manually copying. Chaucer, the most recent author of Beowulf, actually had to changed parts of the story because he didn’t know how to translate the langauge that it was originally written in. I had not even thought of this factor! If interested in learning more about the changes in Beowulf and why they are there read the link attatched. http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/middleages/welcome.htm
I found this information enlightening and yet rather bothersome. People all over the world in some shape or form have received educational information that could possibly be wrong. I feel that says a lot about us as humans. Our personal knowledge, beliefs, and even mistakes go into all types of communication. It proves just how much the human mind and all of its aspects are involved in media whether it be books, radio, tv, and even online information. I found it very interesting that such flaws and even good qualities are such a huge part of what goes into our brains on daily basis.