ENGL402 - Chaucer

Prerequisite: Two English courses in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department. Works read in Middle English. Readings may include Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, dream visions, lyrics.

This course is an introduction both to Chaucer's longest work, The Canterbury Tales, and to Middle English, the early version of English spoken by Chaucer and his contemporaries in London. There are no prerequisites beyond a love of poetry and of language, and a willingness to immerse yourself in a wonderful, complex poetic world. All readings are in Chaucer's original Middle English. The stories Chaucer tells are a lot of fun, but be aware that to understand them well will demand considerable extra effort on your part. I require 7-10 quizzes, two 5-7 page papers, a mid-term, and a final exam. Each student must also memorize 50 lines of Middle English poetry and read aloud regularly in class.