We will be reading all of the literature for the course in Middle English; thus, one major component of the course will be to acquire some facility in the language. In addition to doing a great deal of reading aloud, we will have periodic quizzes to reinforce M.E. translation skills. Otherwise, I intend to run this course much like a seminar: i.e., class participation is not only expected; it is vital to the success of such a small class. Each student will be required to present one of the Canterbury Tales to the class and to lead the discussion for that day, turning in an outline of the presentation and a bibliography for the Tale. In addition, each student will give an oral report on some aspect of the literature or of medieval English culture in general. In addition, you will each write one short (5 pages) paper and one longer research paper (10-12 pages) on a subject having to do with Chaucer or one of the contemporary poets we read. There will be a midterm exam and a final.
Finally, if you are willing and interested, we will hold a medieval feast on the last day of class, to celebrate Christmas, to have a break before finals, and to learn something about the material culture of the Middle Ages. I have several collections of medieval recipes, and will ask you to participate in putting together a re-enactment of a 14th century dinner.
Aug 28 Class Introduction, Chaucer Chronology 30 Reading Middle English Sep 1 General Prologue, pp. 3-8; On Pilgrimage, pp. 256-63 4 Labor Day, no class 6 General Prologue, pp. 8-16; The Estates, pp. 264-70 8 General Prologue, pp. 16-24 11 The Knight's Tale, pp. 24-47 13 KnT, pp. 47-61; Boethius, pp. 287-90 15 KnT, pp. 61-75 18 The Miller's Tale, pp. 75-93 20 MT, cont'd. 22 The Reeve's Tale, pp. 93-104 25 Leicester, "Art of Impersonation," pp. 503-18 27 Kittredge, "Dramatic Principle," pp. 518-23 29 The Sege off Melayne, ME Romances, pp. 268-91 Oct 2 Melayne, pp. 291-312; Definitions of ME Romance, pp. 428-56 4 Sir Orfeo, pp. 174-190 6 Sir Launfal, pp. 190-218 9 Midterm Exam 11 Jean de Meun, pp. 311-19; "The Widow," pp. 320-26; Theo- phrastus, pp. 326-28; St. Jerome, pp. 328-42; Walter Map, pp. 342-47; Gospels, pp. 348-55 13 The Wife of Bath's Prologue, pp. 105-26 16 Fall Holiday, no class 18 WBP, cont'd. 20 The Wife of Bath's Tale, pp. 126-36; The Weddyng of Syr Gawen and Dame Ragnell for Helpyng of Kyng Arthoure, ME Romances, pp. 243-67 23 WBT, cont'd. 25 The Clerk's Prologue & Tale, pp. 136-48; Le Ménagier de Paris, pp. 391-92 27 The Franklyn's Prologue & Tale, pp. 169-91 30 FT, cont'd. Nov 1 The Pardoner's Prologue, pp. 191-200; Short papers due. 3 The Pardoner's Tale, pp. 200-207 6 PT, cont'd. 8 Macrobius, pp. 433-35; Geoffrey of Vinsauf, pp. 435-36; Bartholomeus Anglicus, p. 437; Nun's Priest's Prologue & Tale, pp. 214-31 10 NPT, cont'd. 13 Troilus & Criseyde, Book I. 15 T&C, Book I 17 T&C Book II 20 T&C Book II 22 T&C Book III 24 Thanksgiving Holiday, no class 27 T&C Book IV 29 T&C Book IV Dec. 1 T&C Book V; Research Papers due 4 T&C Book V 6 Review? Feast? Final Exam