Comparative Literature | Arthurian Literature & the Arts
C630 | 25173 | Prof. McGerr

CMLT-C 630 (25173) Arthurian Literature & the Arts ,  R. McGerr ,
MW 1:00-2:15  -meets w/ CMLT-C 301
Stories about King Arthur and his court represent one of the most
extensive and most complex traditions in Western literature, one
that crosses boundaries of historical period, language, literary
genre, and artistic medium.  This course will begin by studying the
origins of Arthurian narrative in Celtic mythology and its
development in medieval European literatures and arts, including
sculpture, painting, tapestry, and woodcarving.  We will then sample
the reappearances of Arthurian narrative in later literatures and
arts, including film.  We will examine Arthurian texts with two
goals: 1) to gain better understanding of the mythological,
aesthetic, and political forces that shaped them, and 2) to
appreciate the ways in which these works weave narrative threads
from the past into new texts that engage in dialogue with Arthurian
tradition as a whole.  Our readings will include Welsh tales from
the Mabinogion, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of
Britain, Chrétien de Troyes’ Knight of the Cart, Wolfram von
Eschenbach’s Parzival, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Thomas
Malory’s Morte Darthur, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King,
and T. H. White’s The Once and Future King.  Films studied will be
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Excalibur, and The Fisher King.