English 211

Chaucer: Early Chaucer


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2018 Nolan, Maura
M 3-6 210 Dwinelle

Book List

Chaucer, Geoffrey: The Canterbury Tales

Description

Please note that this course description was revised on April 30.

This course focuses on the works that Chaucer wrote prior to the Canterbury Tales: the Book of the Duchess, Parliament of Fowls, House of Fame, Boece, the Legend of Good Women, and Troilus and Criseyde, along with his shorter poems. We will be particularly interested in questions of style: can we define a Chaucerian style? How does that style develop as Chaucer moves through his "French" and "Italian" periods? What notions of style were available to Chaucer in the late 14th century? We will consider the relationship of Chaucer's poetic style to the presentation of his texts in manuscripts and to classical notions of style, as well as to medieval literary criticism in the form of rhetorical handbooks and commentaries. We will also read some key 20th- and 21st-century accounts of style to help us think about what style meant to Chaucer.

The text for this class will be the Riverside Chaucer. You can buy a paperback edition on Amazon, rather than the hardback that the bookstore would order; it is much cheaper and easier to carry around!

Students will write two conference-length papers and do one presentation.

This course satisfies the Group 2 (Medieval through Sixteenth Century) requirement.

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