11:15a-12:30p TR (30) 3 cr.
We will read selected texts--in translation and Middle English--from
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The course will not attempt
to be a survey; rather, we will read a variety of works in the
important genres. Readings may include the following: romances
(Sir Orfeo, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory's
Morte Darthur), dream vision (Chaucer's Parlement of
Foulys, Langland's Piers Plowman, the Pearl),
"mystical" texts (The Book of Margery Kempe, the
Shewinges of Julian of Norwich), and drama. We will read the
texts for enjoyment, but we will also follow their leads to talk about
social, political, religious and other interests.
The course will begin with Chaucer's Parlement to familiarize
students who have not read Middle English with the language and also
to help students who have read some Middle English to recall the
language. Chaucer's Middle English is relatively simple; however,
many of the texts we will read are in difficult dialects not as
directly related to Modern English as Chaucer's language is. Although
we will depend upon translations for these more difficult works, we
will spend some time looking at passages in the original. Students
who wish to do more extensive work with the language may do so with me
outside of class.
There will be two papers, a midterm, and a final.