Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Chaucer and Medieval Literature

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The aim of the study-unit is to provide students with a broader view of Chaucer’s texts and of medieval English literature.

The study-unit is complementary to ‘ENG1071 Chaucer: An Introduction’ and explores aspects of courtly love, dream allegory and the Arthurian Legend in medieval literature. The study-unit will also focus on a study of Chaucer’s early dream-poems (The Book of the Duchesse, The House of Fame and the Parlement of Foules), exploring them within the context of the literary tradition of Chaucer’s age.

The study-unit will review Arthurian Romance and its literary expression in the Middle Ages, with particular reference to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Reference will also be made to the literature surrounding the quest for the Holy Grail.

Reading List:

Set Texts

Geoffrey Chaucer, Love Visions, trans. Brian Stone (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ed. J. A. Burrow (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972)
Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur, ed. Janet Cowen, 2 vols (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970)

Selected Reading

Benson, Larry D., Art and Tradition in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1965)
Boitani, Piero, and Jill Mann eds., The Cambridge Companion to Chaucer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Burrow, J. A., A Reading of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965)
Lewis, C. S., The Allegory of Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985)
Loomis, R. S., A Mirror of Chaucer’s World (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965)
Weston, Jessie, From Ritual To Romance (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993)
Winny, James, Chaucer’s Dream Poems (London: Chatto & Windus, 1973)


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Peter Vassallo

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.