French And Italian | A Question of Love
E103 | 0053 | Prof. Emanuel Mickel


In the topics course, "A Question of Love," we shall explore our
understanding of the various emotions and relationships we cover by
the word love. As a basis for understanding the different aspects of
love in human relationships as represented in western tradition, we
shall read and analyze an anthology of fundamental passages from
several classical and medieval works, ranging from Plato and the Bible
to Ovid and the Romance of the Rose. We shall use our
discussion of these texts to analyze the representations of love in
two medieval romances, Chretien's Erec and Enide and
Gottfried's Tristan, one seventeenth and one eighteenth century
French novel, The Princess of Cleves and Dangerous
Liaisons, and an English novel of Jane Austen, Sense and
Sensibility.

There will be three examinations during the semester including the
final. Students will be asked to write four papers: two of two pages
and two not more than three pages. In these papers students will learn
to approach literary texts in a critical manner. In this course we
shall discuss the psychology of love; the close relationship between
love and philosophy; the question of love and chivalry in the Middle
Ages; the importance of rhetoric and authorial use of persona.
Analyzing these issues will add to the student's ability to understand
the novel we shall read, to appreciate the many faceted aspects of the
experiences we cover by the single word love, and to see the ways in
which writers have represented these human emotions.