ENGL402 - Chaucer

This course will focus on The Canterbury Tales read in Middle English. We will place a great emphasis on understanding Chaucer’s Middle English language, not on secondary critical reading. We will examine the tales singly and as they connect with one another, developing themes that captivated Chaucer throughout his entire literary career: the importance of literary tradition or “auctoritee” as it plays out against day-to-day experience , the social roles (and social institutions) reflected in the group of pilgrims, questions of gender, and the like. The class will combine lectures with discussion and collaborative work. Written work will include two papers, one or two hour tests, a taped reading of a passage from The Canterbury Tales and a final exam. There will also be frequent reading quizzes.


Two English courses in literature or permission of the department.