English 113B - Winter, 2023

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Class Information

Instructor: Waters, Claire
Time: TR 10:30-11:50am
Location: 118 Olson


Chaucer?s last major work is also his most famous, for its lively variety of voices and characters, its humor, its range of genres and literary styles, and it is still inspiring new works today. 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. We will also read modern critical takes on Chaucer and his works as well as a handful of responses to and reworkings of them by contemporary writers.


Section attendance and participation: 10%.
Discussion posts: 10%.
Short close-reading exercise (800?1000 words): 10%.
Midterm exam: 10%.
Short close-reading essay (1200?1500 words): 15%.
Paper proposal and annotated bibliography: 10%.
Final research paper (about 2000 words) with abstract: 20%.
Final exam: 15%.


Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer