English 505: Chaucer in Context
MW 5:30-10:00 PM
Professor Nancy Ruff
Peck 2224, x 3649
Office hours: MW 2:30-3:30 and by appt.
Description: This course will focus on Chaucer's literary works in the intellectual and historical context of his time. In addition to reading Chaucer's works, we will explore that Chaucer himself knew well, by authors such as Virgil, Ovid, Boethius, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Gower, Langland, and the Church fathers.
Objective: This course aims to familiarize students with Chaucer's works and the ideas and texts that lie behind and beside them.
Texts: The Riverside Chaucer (purchase)
Virgil's Aeneid. (Translation by Sarah Ruden suggested)
Other works we will be consulting (available in Lovejoy Library and/or the Web):
Alighieri, Dante. The Divine ComedyOvid's Metamorphoses; Heroides; Amores
Boccaccio, Giovanni. Decameron, Il Filocolo, Il Teseida
Capellanus, Andreas (Andrι le chapelain). On Love
de Meun, Jean. The Romance of the Rose
de Troyes, Chrιtien. The Quest of the Holy Grail. Gower, John. Confessio Amantis, Le Mirroire de l'Homme
Froissart, Jean. Chronicles.
Gower, John. Vox clamantis; Le Mirrour de l'Omme; Confessio amantis
Macrobius' Commentary on a Dream of Scipio.
Web resources: The Chaucer Metapage -- best source for Chaucer scholarship
The Labyrinth -- best resource on medieval culture
Eileen Joy's Webpage -- all kinds of wonderful connections
Requirements: Each student will be required to:
1. complete reading assignments for each class
2. write a response to each reading assignment
3. participate in class discussions
4. present and lead discussion on one text that Chaucer knew/used
5. write a research paper on the topic of his/her oral presentation
Grading: Items in Requirements section will be graded as follows:
1-3 = 40 points total
4 = 20 points
5 = 40 points
Total = 100 points
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use of another's ideas, images, or words without full acknowledgement of their source. Whenever you are in doubt about whether you must acknowledge a source, acknowledge it. Plagiarism is intellectual theft, a serious offense with severe consequences. Details on these may be found in the University's Graduate Student Handbook. Students must use MLA format carefully for citations.
Note: Chaucer's works appear on the first line of each day's reading. They are all in the Riverside Chaucer. Works underlined and in blue are available online through the hyperlink. Works followed by (BB) will be available in Blackboard under Course Content beginning later this week.
Bring to class: The Riverside Chaucer
In class: Introduction to Chaucer's life, times, and work.
"General Prologue" to the Canterbury Tales.
selections from Boccaccio's Decameron's Prologue, Henry Knighton, Froissart (BB)
For class: "The Knight's Prologue and Tale," "Anelida and Arcite"
Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy
In class: Statius' Thebiad Book 12 ll 540ff. and Boccaccio's Teseida
For class: The Book of the Duchess, The Parliament of Fowls
"Ceyx and Halcyone" from Ovid's Metamorphoses,
Machaut's The Judgement of the King of Bohemia (BB).
In class: selections from Andreas Capellanus' De Amore (On Love)
For class: "The Clerk's Prologue, Tale, and L'Envoy," "The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale"
Jean de Meun, selections from The Romance of the Rose (BB)
Christine de Pisan "Defense of Women" (BB)
Gower's Confessio Amantis, Book I: Tale of Florent
In class: selections from the Church fathers
For class: The House of Fame
Virgil's Aeneid Books 1-4
For class: Prologues and Tales of the Summoner, Friar, Pardoner, Parson
In class: The Rule of St.Benedict, Rule of St. Francis, Langland's Piers Plowman (Passus 1, 5, 7) (BB)
For class: Troilus and Criseyde Books 1-3
selections from Boccaccio's Il Filostrato
For class: Troilus and Criseyde Books 4-5
selections from the Knight of La Tour-Landry
For class: selections from Legend of Good Women (The Seintes Legend of Cupid, and the legends of Cleopatra, Thisbe, Dido, Hypsiple and Medea, Ariadne)
selections from Ovid's Heroides, Metamorphoses (Dido, Hypsipyle, and Medea)
Selections from Boccaccios De Claris Mulieribus (Thisbe, Dido, Hysipyle, and Medea)
For class: The Nun's Priest Tale, Retractions
In class: Macrobius on the Dream of Scipio, Boccaccio, from De Genalogia Deorum Gentilium (on poetry) (BB)
Final papers are due by Friday, August 7th..
7/1 Boccaccio's Teseida in Anelaida & Arcite and The Knight's Tale Ruff
7/6 Ovid, Machaut, Book of the Duchess
7/8 Petrarch's Griselda and The Clerk's Tale
Church fathers and The Wife of Bath's Prologue
7/13 Virgil in the Middle Ages
Dante in The House of Fame
7/15 14th C. English Clergy
7/20 Boccaccio's Il Filostrato and Troilus and Criseyde
7/27 Ovid's Heroides, Boccaccio's De Mulieribus and The Legend of Good Women.
7/29 Macrobius and The Nun's Priest's Tale