ENGL466 - Arthurian Legend

The aim of this course is to follow the legend of Arthur from its beginnings in the early sixth century through the changes and developments in the story from then to the 19th century. A class handout will provide the earliest mentions of Arthur both historical and folkloric. After that we will read and discuss Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, the early Welsh folk/fairy tale “Culhwch and Olwen” from the Mabinogion, four romances of Chrétien de Troyes—Erec and Enide, Yvain, Lancelot, and Perceval—a substantial portion of the Works of Sir Thomas Malory, finishing with Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. Because each century had its own interpretation of the legend, we will concentrate on the varying treatments of the story and its characters. Requirements include participation in discussion, one 8-10 page paper on a topic to be decided in conference, a midterm and a two-hour final exam.

BE ADVISED: there is A LOT of reading in this course. Consider carefully whether your schedule will enable you to keep up with the reading.


Two English courses in literature or permission of department.