English 113B - Fall, 2014

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Class Information

Instructor: Waters, Claire
Time: TR 9:00-10:20
Location: 106 Olson


    Chaucer’s last work is also his most famous, for its lively variety of voices and characters, its humor, its range of genres and literary styles, and its interest in topics still very much alive for us today: relationships between men and women, how authority is gained and used, the role of free will in human life, how we deal with disaster. We will read a substantial selection of the Tales in their original Middle English, thinking about how the Canterbury Tales reflect on the literary traditions Chaucer inherited and the social world of late fourteenth-century England, and what they can tell us about how the “father of English poetry” understood his own role as an author.


    15% 1st paper
    20% 2nd paper
    15% Midterm
    10% posted discussion questions
    10% class participation
    10% section participation
    20% final exam


    The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Jill Mann (Penguin)