College Of Arts And Sciences | Medieval Heroes
E104 | 0155 | Shopkow

2:3-3:20 MW BH 310
Who were the heroes of the Middle Ages? How did changes in medieval society
create changes in people's thinking about heroes? And how do heroes in
general meet societal needs? Although people tend to think that heroes
simply act heroically, to become a hero (rather than an unsung hero!), a
person's actions need to be noticed and celebrated by others. And over time,
the actions and qualities attributed to the hero by society change as the
needs and nature of the society change. These will be the issues we will
discuss this semester.

This course will be divided into a short introductory unit, and five units
devoted to individual heroes or types of heroes. We will discuss King
Arthur, the epic hero, the holy hero, the rebel hero, and the heroine. The
lectures and readings for each unit will describe the society producing the
hero and the stories about the hero, and we will read the stories
themselves. There will also be discussion sections.

Skills: The emphasis in this course will be on helping students develop
their ability to read and interpret primary sources (sources written during
the Middle Ages), such as biographies, histories, and fiction, and to write
more effectively.

Assignments: Short weekly writing assignments about the readings, two
take-home essay exams, and a two-hour in-class final examination. Students
will be graded on these assignments, as well as class participation in
discussion sections.