Comparative Literature | Medieval Literature
C523 | 1195 | McGerr

Prof. McGerr	TR	11:15-12:30	BH 333

In this course, we will study a selection of the major allegorical
narratives written in Europe during the Middle Ages.  We will examine the
relationship of these works to the modes of interpretation developed in
late antiquity, to medieval philosophies of language, and to iconographic
representation in the visual arts.  Some of the issues in allegorical
narrative we will address are the relationship of wordplay to
representation, the foregrounding of the reader's role, the subversive
nature of allegory, and the relationship of medieval allegories to modern
theoretical discussions.

Our primary readings will include Prudentius' Psychomachia,
Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, Alain de Lille's Complaint of Nature,
Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun's Romance of the Rose, Dante's Divine
Comedy, and Chaucer's House of Fame.  We will also read selections from
St. Augustine's On Christian Doctrine, Aquinas's Summa theologica, Dante's
"Letter to Can Grande della Scala," and a selection of modern critical and
theoretical readings.  All readings will be in modern English translation;
but students should use the original medieval texts whenever possible.

Requirements:  Students will write two critical essays of twelve
to fifteen pages, prepare one class presentation, and complete one short
Fine Arts Library research project.