Last modified: 14 Apr 2017 10:17
An introduction to late medieval-literature, challenging modern assumptions about the medieval and exploring the diverse range of medieval literary culture, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the autobiographical narrative of Margery Kempe and surprising profanity of medieval lyric.
|Session||First Sub Session||Credit Points||30 credits (15 ECTS credits)|
One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.
This course offers an introduction to late-medieval literature, challenging modern assumptions about the nature of the 'medieval' and opening up the dynamic cultural scene that gave rise to some of the most entertaining and thought-provoking works in the literary tradition. Texts and authors studied range from the popular to the courtly and from the sacred to the (very) profane. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales features prominently on the course, with narrative poetry also represented by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Meanwhile, the great civic Mystery play cycles represent the beginnings of the vigorous vernacular dramatic tradition inherited by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Students will become familiar with Medieval language and be introduced to themes and genres ranging from courtly love and chivalric romance, to mysticism and autobiography, from comic tales (fabliaux) to drama and lyric verse. The course will also examine Chaucer's cultural influence, and include work by Scottish writers Henryson and Dunbar.
Additional texts to be supplied as handouts.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Riverside Chaucer, ed. Larry D. Benson, 3rd edn. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988):
We’ll be focusing on General Prologue, The Knight’s Tale, The Miller’s Tale, The Reeve’s Tale, The Merchant’s Tale, The Franklin’s Tale, The Nun’s Priest’s Tale, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale
Kempe, Margery. The Book of Margery Kempe, trans. B. A. Windeatt (Houndmills: Penguin, 2000).
The Lais of Marie de France, trans. Glyn S. Burgess and Keith Busby, 2nd edn (London: Penguin, 1999). (Bisclavret)
Shakespeare, William, and John Fletcher. Two Noble Kinsmen, ed. Eugene M. Waith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. and ed. Bernard O'Donoghue (London: Penguin, 2006)
This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.
1st Attempt: 2500-3000 word essay (40%), 2000-2500 word essay ( 40%), presentation (10%) seminar work (10%).
Resit: Essay Submission (100%).
Throughout the course students will be encouraged to ask for formative assessment from the tutor on their achievements. Individual and group discussions with the tutor will also give students a chance to develop their undertanding of what is asked of them and how they can produce this.
Detailed written feedback on the essays. Detailed oral feedback on the presentations.