1946 12:20p-1:10p MW (30) 3 cr.
Corequisite discussion sections:
1947 9:05a-9:55a F
1948 10:10a-11:00a F
1949 11:15a-12:05p F
OPEN TO MAJORS ONLY. DECLARED MINORS OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION FROM BH442.
This course will consider the imaginative literature of medieval England in relation to the actual lives of medieval people. As you might expect, medieval legends often glamorized the real world, but this will be only part of the story. We'll see how the medievals' everyday world was itself shaped by fantasy, and how the legendary worlds of the literary texts bear a mysterious relation to everyday life.
For evidence of how life was lived in the Middle Ages, we'll look to the royal court and the great metropolis of London. We'll consider how thought and behavior were gendered, lives were structured by religious ritual, and personal identities were displayed through fascinating codes of heraldry and symbolic dress. We'll then use these investigations to suggest ways of thinking about our literary texts--Arthurian adventures, life stories of medieval celebrities, love poems, and dramatic plays.
Class will be conducted partly in lecture, but your participation is nevertheless very important. You will have frequent opportunities to take part in presentations and offer responses, and there will be discussion sections once a week. Written work will include two papers, a midterm, and a final, and there will be extra-credit outings to IU's Early Music concerts and other medieval events.