1. Please discuss the political significance and ideological message of the Monastery of Alcobaca. What are some of the principal architectural features and style of the monastery? Give specific examples. What elements of the monastery would define it as Cistercian? Give specific examples.
2. Please discuss the political significance and ideological message of the Monastery of Batalha. What are some of the principal architectural features and style of the monastery? Is it possible to follow stylistic development in the architecture or sculpture? Do you notice any continuity and difference and can this be associated with different architects or phases of construction?
3. Compare and contrast the two churches of Alcobaca and Batalha. What makes them both “Gothic” and what accounts for the differences between them? Describe some of the differences in use, plan, typology, ornament and style. What about religious imagery and the presence of sculpture and stained glass? What kinds of images of kingship was each structure intended to express and what were the ways in which these messages were intended to be communicated?
4. Discuss the main arguments of the article by Joana Ramoa Melo. What did you find intriguing about the article? Which parts of it were unclear or unconvincing. Were there any lines of argument you would like to see pursued further? Discuss the conventions of tomb sculpture during this period and how they promoted certain kinds of gender stereotypes. Discuss some of the important developments in tomb sculpture and how they might have related to issues of gender and “feminine agency.” Please give specific examples in your posts and be sure to include the tombs of D. Ines de Castro and D. Pedro at Alcobaca and the tomb of D. Joao I and D. Filila de Lancastre in this discussion.