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Chaucer’s poetry comes fully alive when read aloud; each of you will come to read and perform it fluently and well. Our course will concentrate upon The Canterbury Tales, an amazingly varied framed collection of stories, juxtaposing knightly chivalry with low deeds of sexual opportunism; philosophical musing and tales of talking chickens; tales of liberty and tyranny; oriental exoticism and gritty, close-to-home realism; enlightened views of Islam and tales of wicked mothers-in-law; alchemy and magic; ecology and astronomy; saint’s life and undergraduate escapade; freelance eroticism and married love. Chaucer has attracted readers and translators from all over the world, from China and Korea to Mexico and Poland; we will consider many creative responses, especially by women poets and performers.