L213 2102 CLOPPER
Literary Masterpieces I

9:30a-10:45a TR (70) 3 cr.

TOPIC: ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL LITERATURE

The course will center on texts from the European tradition that have mattered. Some of these texts mattered because they set literary standards that later writers tried to emulate or escape. Others mattered because they recorded events that were deeply embedded in a culture's psyche. Why, for example, was the Trojan war so important to the Greeks? And later to the Romans? And still later to medieval peoples? All these texts have also mattered because they helped shape what we are today. Although much of the course will consist of the reading and interpretation of individual texts, we will also talk about how an old text influences a later text and how the later text rereads the earlier one.

Texts we will read include selections from Plato's dialogues, Homer's Odyssey, plays of the Greek dramatists, selections from Ovid's Metamorphoses and Vergil's Aeneid, a variety of love lyrics, some lais of Marie de France, Dante's Inferno, medieval romance, and some tales of Chaucer and Boccaccio.

There will be frequent short, written responses to our texts, quizzes or exams, and two longer written analyses. Students will be expected to participate in oral analyses in class.