Reading and discussion of several major works of English literature written during the medieval period: Beowulf, several shorter Old-English poems, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, selections from Malory's Morte D'Arthur, several Middle English plays, and three Continental works for comparison and contrast. Most of the works will be read in modern translations; the selections from Malory and the drama are in the original. The course aims at giving a sense of the variety of Old and Middle literature and will introduce students to such topics as epic and romance, the ethos of chivalry, courtly love, dream visions, medieval allegory and symbolism. We will study the masterpieces of the period exclusive of
Chaucer in some depth, by means of lectures and class discussions, and keep an eye on the function of these works as well as their literary merits. Midterm and final examinations of an objective nature; two essays.
Note: Taking this course, in addition to a Renaissance course, satisfies the usual English 201 requirement.