Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

01 TTH5  CAC  17169   SCANLON   MU-212

Romance was medieval culture’s most popular non-religious literary genre.  It is probably also the medieval genre which has had the largest influence on subsequent history.  For example, there is almost no form of modern popular narrative, from the Western to science fiction to the soap opera, which does not draw in some way on the conventions of medieval romance.  The most famous medieval romances are those of  Arthur.  This course will examine the Arthurian legends in some detail, both leading Middle English instances such as Sir Gawain and the Green and Malory’s Morte Darthur, and French and Anglo Norman antecedents, such as the romances of Chrétien de Troyes and the lays of Marie de France.  But it will also survey the field more widely, to give students a sense of the truly strange and rich variety of the genre in later Medieval England.  Other texts will include Havelok the Dane, Amis and Amiloun, Siege of Jerusalem, and Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde.  Three papers and some online exercises.


Chrétien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances.
Four Romances of England: King Horn, Havelok the Dane, Bevis of Hampton, Athelston
Marie de France, The Lays of Marie de France
The Siege of Jerusalem
Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (ed. Winny)
Sir Thomas Malory, Morte Darthur

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Statue of "Willie the Silent"