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Instructor Class Description

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Miceal F Vaughan
ENGL 320
Seattle Campus

English Literature: The Middle Ages

Literary culture of Middle Ages in England, as seen in selected works from earlier and later periods, ages of Beowulf and of Geoffrey Chaucer. Read in translation, except for a few later works, which are read in Middle English.

Class description

From Homer’s Iliad to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (and beyond) the siege of Troy has been treated as the result of and the background for a number of love stories. In the European Middle Ages, the story of Troilus and Cressida, a late invention, came in for particularly interesting treatments at the hands of major writers of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance: Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Henryson, and William Shakespeare.

After setting the stage for the medieval (and early modern) developments by reading Homer and selections from Ovid, we’ll concentrate on the variations in the characters and treatment of the Troilus and Cressida story and see what it may show us about love in a time of war and how that theme changes over the centuries.

Requirements for the course will include active participation in discussions, weekly short writing contributions, and two longer (4-5pp) papers.

Books ordered:

Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, trans. Rev. ed. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 2011. (ISBN13: 9780226470498)

Ovid. Heroides. Trans. Harold Isbell. London/New York: Penguin, 1990 (ISBN13: 9780140423556)

Gordon, R. K., ed. The Story of Troilus. Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching. Toronto: U of Toronto Press, 1978. (ISBN13: 9780802063687)

Shakespeare, William. Troilus and Cressida. Ed. Kenneth Muir. Oxford World Classic. Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1982. (ISBN 9780199536535)

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Miceal F Vaughan
Date: 02/27/2014