[[quoteright:270:[[Theatre/RichardIII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Olivier_-_RichardIII.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:270:[[Theatre/RichardIII Unfit for any place but hell...]]]]

Pretty much the entire Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, though in southern Europe this overlaps with UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance. This is the period where chivalry is dying, and [[Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli Macchiavellian]] nobles are killing off kings, queens, peasants, and each other with gusto (especially if they happen to be [[BigScrewedUpFamily relatives]]), with recurrences of ThePlague generally finishing off any survivors. This is the age of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_macabre Dance of Death]], UsefulNotes/TheHundredYearsWar, the UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses, UsefulNotes/TheSpanishInquisition, the early [[BurnTheWitch witchcraft trials]], and the vivid paintings of Creator/HieronymusBosch. It just got as dark and edgy as DarkAgeEurope again. Still, a common feature of fictions will be an idealistic character who looks forward to a day when society has left all this mediaeval darkness behind. [[WideEyedIdealist (This character often is killed.)]] We can blame most of these attitudes on the Renaissance, and even more on the [[UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment Enlightenment]] when the whole 'people who came before us were really stupid' thing really started up.

The typical clothing will include [[NiceHat Nice Hats]], often of disturbingly complicated structure, and surprisingly low necklines among the women; among the men, yards and yards of cloth in the sleeves and [[DangerouslyShortSkirt disturbingly high hemlines]] (Women's hemlines won't rise up until [[TheTwentiethCentury several]] [[TheRoaringTwenties centuries]] [[TheSixties later]]). Both generously include lots of [[PrettyInMink fur]] and [[GorgeousPeriodDress velvet]], at least among the [[BlueBlood nobility]] -- and lots of dirt, at least among the peasants. Splotches of blood are a not infrequent addition for both.

Outside certain aspects of the Renaissance, this is generally not regarded as a happy time -- and even that period tends to be darkened by [[CorruptChurch poisoning Popes]], [[DeadlyDecadentCourt manipulating courtesans]], and murderous [[FeudingFamilies feuds among the noble clans]].
!!Tropes associated with this time period include:

* CorruptChurch: UsefulNotes/TheSpanishInquisition is often portrayed as this, even though it was controlled by the Spanish Crown.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: The reason ladies of dubious virtue like Agnes Sorel, Elizabeth Shore, and Vannozza Catanei became powers in the state.
* TheDungAges
* FeudingFamilies: For instance, the feuds between the Percys and the Nevilles, and York and Lancaster, which form much of the background of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's historical plays.
* FormFittingWardrobe: The concept of tailoring and fitting started in this era.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Of course. [[UsefulNotes/RichardIII Richard III]] of England and Louis XI of France are favorites.
* UsefulNotes/TheHundredYearsWar
* JokerJury[=/=]TrialOfTheMysticalJury: Both UsefulNotes/TheSpanishInquisition and the Vehmgericht vacillate between these two tropes.
* MedievalMorons: Often this occurs in the form of a proto-Renaissance inventor or philosopher being branded as a "[[BurnTheWitch witch]]" or "[[TheHeretic heretic]]" by the superstitious, close-minded [[AristocratsAreEvil aristocrats]] and/or [[TorchesAndPitchforks mob]].
* NiceHat: When the tall headdresses, including the famous steeple headdress, were in vogue.
* PimpedOutDress: One of the most popular (both back then and as a stock costume now) was a dress with tight sleeves, a v-neckline, and trimming of an extravagant fabric (usually [[PrettyInMink fur]] or velvet) on the cuffs, hem, and neckline.
* PlotTriggeringDeath[=/=]WhamEpisode: One of the biggest in European history: the battlefield death of Charles the Bold of Burgundy permanently changed the geopolitics of Western Europe. At the time, Charles controlled territory in the Low Countries and France that acted as a buffer between France and the Holy Roman Empire. When he died, it was split between the two and informed much of the conflict between France and Germany for the next few centuries. England was also deprived of its only ally in France, meaning a restart of the Hundred Years War was no longer possible.
* ThePlague

!!Works set in this time period are:


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Manga/{{Berserk}}: Midland is modeled on Europe during the Late Middle Ages.
* Manga/MariaTheVirginWitch: Takes place during the later part of UsefulNotes/TheHundredYearsWar in France.
* [[https://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=11021 Mercenary Pierre]]

* The paintings of the Flemish Primitives (Jan Van Eyck, Rogier Van Der Weyden, Hans Memling, Hugo Van Der Goes)
* The paintings of Creator/HieronymusBosch.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Ingmar Bergman's ''Film/TheSeventhSeal''
* Any version of the story of UsefulNotes/JoanOfArc (e.g., ''Film/TheMessengerTheStoryOfJoanOfArc'', ''[[Film/ThePassionOfJoanOfArc Le passion de Jeanne d'Arc]]'')

* Sir Creator/WalterScott's ''Anne of Geierstein'' and ''Quentin Durward''
* Creator/VictorHugo's ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' is set in 15th-century Paris.
* Justin [=McCarthy=]'s ''If I Were King''
* Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''Literature/TheKnightsOfTheCross''
* Creator/UmbertoEco's ''Literature/TheNameOfTheRose''
* Connie Willis's ''Literature/DoomsdayBook''
* Holly Hoyt's ''Literature/ThePurpleWidow''.
* In ''Series/TheRoyalDiaries'' series, ''Isabel, Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466'' is about Queen Isabel (also known as Isabella), before her famous reign during the time of Christopher Columbus.
* ''Literature/TheAccursedKings'' begins at the end of TheHighMiddleAges and ends in the beginning of UsefulNotes/TheHundredYearsWar, including a short time of TheLateMiddleAges before the beginning of UsefulNotes/TheHundredYearsWar
* ''Literature/TheBridegroom'', a Norwegian story of the dramatic effect of ThePlague in rural Norway. As dark as you can possibly get it.
* The frame story of ''Literature/TheDecameron'' is set during the Plague, and was written during this period, so it is very much of this era. However, the stories the ''brigata'' tells are uniformly set before the Plague, although they vary wildly in time period (most seem to be set in TheHighMiddleAges, but there are some stories set in ancient Rome or Greece, as well.)

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'': The first series.

* Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Theatre/HenryVI'' (Parts I, II, and III) and ''Theatre/RichardIII''
* Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw's ''Theatre/SaintJoan''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII''
* ''VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis'' games typically begin in this timeframe. ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'' ends in it.
* ''VideoGame/MedievalTotalWar'' and its [[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar remake]] deal with this period (as well as the rest of the middle ages). The late period is characterized by combat with heavily armored units, but also with gunpowder and early cannons - and prompts some factions to begin thinking of crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
* Some campaigns of ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires II''; the "Imperial Age" of in-game development (featuring lots of plate armor and gunpowder weapons, plus a campaign based on Cortés' conquest of Mexico) corresponds to this era.