ENGL302 - Medieval Literature in Translation
Syllabus:
Section(s):

Surveys major works of English and continental Middle Ages. Readings may include romance, lyric and drama, Germanic epic, works of Dante, Chretien de Troyes, Jean de Meun, Christine de Pisan, Malory, English and continental mystics.

This course is designed to complement and supplement the other medieval offerings of the English Department by examining continental texts as well as works composed in (what is now) England. Though we will be considering works originally written in Latin, Old French, Anglo-Norman, ProvenÒ«ale, Italian and Middle English, almost everything will be read in modern English translation. We will begin with a careful analysis of Boethius' early sixth-century Consolation of Philosophy, one of the central texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, then explore a wide range of writings from the very rich and complex twelfth century, including theology (sermons and commentary on the Bible), epic, romance, Breton lais, and lyrics of various sorts. Originally written in French, ProvenÒ«ale, Italian or Latin, most of these works circulated throughout the Anglo-Norman world in the years immediately following their composition. By the end of this course, students should have a better idea of how educated people in the Middle Ages viewed their world and the place of written and oral expression in that world. We will conclude the course by examining a series of works, mostly of English origin, from the fourteenth century: Mandeville's Travels, the brilliant poems of the Pearl-poet, and Troilus and  Criseyde, Chaucer's most significant work outside of the Canterbury Tales. Expect weekly quizzes, 3-4 short response papers, a longer paper, a mid-term and a final.