ABSTRACT

The Bayeux Tapestry is a visual representation of the events leading up to and during the Battle of Hastings in 1066. This seminal event in English history forever changed its politics, culture, and society. Despite its potential for Norman propaganda, the Tapestry presents the main story of Harold Godwinson and William of Normandy with deliberate ambiguity that allows multiple and contradictory interpretations of events. The Tapestry also portrays the concurrent lives of ordinary people who are drawn into the drama of nation building. As a work of pictorial art, the Tapestry is significant for understanding nationalism as it depicts the importance of presenting a multiplicity of possible interpretations of political identity.