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Bayeux Tapestry and the Battle of Hastings

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This paper seeks to prepare a personal letter describing the experience gained with regards to Bayeux Tapestry. In this case, the preparation lies in the assumptions that the war is an individual and actual experience in which there was direct involvement. As such, this letter will contain details of the war, illustrates the individual impressions of the war, describes specific elements, and provides the justification for fighting against the enemies. As such, it will partly help in the creation of reflective letter which seeks to provide a personal assessment toward Bayeux Tapestry. In addition, it is partly descriptive because it seeks to provide more insight concerning the elements and accounts of the war.

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Historical Account of William the Conqueror

The battle of Hastings has been evoked by the sudden death of the Childless king known as Edward the Confessor towards the end of 1066. In essence, this territory lacks an immediate heir to the throne of King Edward. However, Harold has been crowned as the next king of this territory but he does not have the critical requirements to become the immediate heir to this throne.

As such, the new king has received an invasion from the Norwegian King as well as this own brother known as Tostig with regards to the acquisition of the Edward’s territory. Due to the defeat of Norwegian King and Tostig, I and Harold have remained the only crucial rivals in the struggle to control this territory. On September 28, the Norman Military has made the first invasion against Harold’s soil. This attack has led to the quick movement of Harold to the south in pursuit of more military forces and manpower. Although Harold made this decision to collect more military personnel, he has only 7,000 people while the Norman Military comprises of about 10000 individuals (Lewis, 2011).

Importantly, Harold tried to launch a surprise attack against the Norma military in order to weaken it and obtain a competitive advantage. However, some few scouts found the military personnel and reported to the authorities. This helped the Norman military to prepare and retaliate with both able and decisive force. As such, the war lasted for about nine hours whereby Harold died and left the kingdom without a ruler. As such, the Edward’s kingdom is officially part of the Norman Empire following the defeat of the Harold’s military.

Impression of the War According to Personal Senses

Essentially, the history of this struggle has been deep and vast in accordance to the rivalry exhibited. Harold was a strong King who had easily conquered his brother, as well as the Harald Hardrada of Norway (Pastan & White, 2009). This is a show of great might and capability in term of military power. However, the king did not have sufficient experience and knowledge when it came to launching the war strategically. In this regard, the surprise attack launched against the Norman kingdom should not have been conducted in the daylight. Instead, the king should have selected a later time of the day.

This will have allowed anonymous approach of the fighters and subsequent victory. On the other hand, the tactical application of a strategy by the Norman Empire was beyond reproach. In this case, the Norman military pretended to retreat as a result of panic and fear. This was meant to create an impression that they are weak and unable to succumb to the force launched by the incoming army. However, after creating an impression that warranted underestimation, the army came back and reiterated to secure their borders. As such, they were not only big in number, but they had critical and decisive strategies to conquer their enemies.

Specific Elements

There were various elements of the war illustrated in the Bayeux Tapestry in regard to the battle of Hastings. In this case, the war was fought by the use of weapons such as swords and spear. In addition, there was evidence of applying and using bows and arrows. Importantly, the soldiers also used the horses to allow movement from their territories to the area of invasion. The tapestry also shows the use of dogs for the sake of launching attacks and confusing opponents.

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This was accompanied by the portrayal of ships which were use during the war by both sides of the divide. With regards to the fighting style, the Norman army applied a very tactical approach to deal with the surprise attack launched by Harold. They retreated to create an impression that they had panicked and retreated due to incapacity. However, the army reiterated after making this impression since they had achieved to reduce the mental preparedness of Harold’s army. Indeed, this was a tactical approach which finds its rationale and application even in the modern world where countries pretend to fear their opponents in order to reduce expectations.

Justification of Own Side of War

In essence, the Norman Army was justified to engage in the war that involved about ten thousand militants. In this case, the Norman and British empires maintained peace and respect for years during the rule of Edward (Bernau, 2009). However, the death of King Edward provided a vacancy to Kingship. This vacancy needed to be filled by a successor, but the king did not have a child (Foys, 2009). As such, it was justified for Norman to extend their territory and rule over the empire. In addition, it was rational that Harold fought to conquer this territory since a new king without experience would simply expose the people to deficiencies and other dangers.


It is the evident that the Bayeux Tapestry is representative of the Battle of Hastings which was fought in 1606. In this case, William the Conqueror was one of the most prevalent and influential persons in this artifact. He conquered the Norman king who was crowned and succeeded King Edward after his death. In addition, the war involved the use of dogs, bows, arrows, ships and horses among others.


Bernau, A. (2009). Medieval Film. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Foys, M. (2009). The Bayeux Tapestry: New interpretations. Woodbridge: Boydell Press.

Lewis, M. (2011). The Bayeux Tapestry New Approaches and Proceedings of a Conference at the British Museum. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Pastan, E., & White, S. (2009). Problematizing Odo of Bayeux and the Bayeux Tapestry. Los Angeles: SAGE.

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