Spring 2023 Undergraduate English Courses

358:305 Medieval Romance

01   MW4   CAC   05400  SCANLON   FH-B4

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.  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, from the early instances in French and Anglo Norman by Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France, which we will read in translation, to the great synthesis of Malory’s Morte Darthur. The course 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 King Horn, Havelok the Dane, Amis and Amiloun, 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

The Breton Lay.

Sir Gawain and Green Knight

The Sultan of Babylon

Sir Thomas Malory, Morte Darthur.