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Fiche de cours

Medieval English : Writing and Disease: Chaucer, Henrysson and Hoccleve

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Denis Renevey
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2010 -> 2010

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


The translation of medical treatises from Latin into Middle English coincides with the abundant translation activity of devotional texts at the same period. Both discourses carry with them the authority of the ancient writers whose writings circulated widely in the Latin language. We will first consider how medical and religious discourses 'contaminated' one another before making their way into 'literary' writings. Indeed, Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, a post-plague text, is written with a high consciousness of the power medical discourse has gained in medieval vernacular culture. This complex romance is of course much more than a manifesto warning against the manipulation of such empowering language, but we will pay particular attention to this aspect in the context of this seminar.

Our investigation of this topic continues with Henrysson's Testament of Crisseid, a text that turns upside down some of the innovations brought in by Chaucer in his version of the story of Criseyde by linking moral failure to disease, with the latter being considered by Henrysson as a just divine punishment.


Students will be assessed by means of active participation and the submission of an essay.


A reader will be provided.

Informations supplémentaires


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Swiss University
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