English 113B - Spring, 2013

Chaucer:The Canterbury Tales

Class Information

Instructor: Vernon, Matthew
Time: TR 12:10-1:30
Location: 106 Olson


    The primary goal of this course is to give students a thorough introduction to The Canterbury Tales; we will be reading the majority of that text in Middle English over the course of the quarter. However, this course argues that a broader purview is crucial for understanding Chaucer’s humor, the grandeur of his literary aspirations and his impact on the English literary tradition. To this end, students will read a series of texts that complement the Tales: romances, pilgrimage accounts, fabliaux, Chaucer’s literary antecedents and his literary progeny. Students will be encouraged to see Chaucer as a writer at play, whose work encourages questioning, rereading and rethinking and whose relevance only grows in the modern era.


    The Canterbury Tales
    The Book of Margery Kempe
    The Faerie Queene
    Maus I: A Survivor\'s Tale: My Father Bleeds History
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight