English | Middle English Literature
L613 | 22281 | Lochrie
L613 22281 LOCHRIE (#1)
Middle English Literature
11:15A Ė 12:30p TR
TOPIC: PIERS PLOWMAN AND LATE MEDIEVAL CULTURE
William Langlandís Piers Plowman ranks among the great narrative
achievements of the fourteenth century. As a complicated dream
vision that exists in three different versions, Langlandís poem
mobilizes a complex and tumultuous historical moment in his poem,
giving voice to a variety of theological and political positions.
At times ambivalent, at times conflictual, Langlandís poem in the B-
Text was nevertheless a flash point for the 1381 Peasantís Revolt.
This course will be devoted to reading Langlandís text in the Middle
English with a number of goals in mind: a) to examine the layering
of personal dream vision with a conscious engagement in political
issues surround the three estates, an exchange economy, the
corruption of the medieval Church, and just about everything that
was up for grabs in late medieval England; b) We will also consider
how the poemís textual history affects its interpretation by
comparing it to excerpts from the A- and C-texts, as well as to
other allegorical poems, particularly the Romance of the Rose, and
to Chaucerís dream visions; c) we will take up different critical
traditions that have built up around this poem, including recent
theoretical approaches. Piers Plowman will be the only work we read
in Middle English, except for excerpts from the A and B texts.
Requirements will include two short papers and one conference-length
paper to be presented at the end of the semester.