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Exploration : Reading The Canterbury Tales

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Rory Critten
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2017 -> 2017

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre d'automne
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

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


This seminar offers students the opportunity to study in detail the one text that has become synonymous with Middle English studies: Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1388-1400). Chaucer's unfinished story collection gathers together a selection of narratives purportedly told en route from Southwark (just outside London) to Canterbury by a diverse group of pilgrims. Some of these narratives are told in the high style and have clear links to the most prestigious Continental writing of the period; others are of a decidedly more bawdy nature. The Canterbury Tales is a work that moves from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again with dazzling speed. In this course, we will read a selection of the tales that affords us access both to the higher and to the lower elements in the collection (an introduction to reading texts in Middle English will be offered). Where appropriate, we will consider Chaucer's source texts with a view to isolating the English author's particular thematic and aesthetic priorities as well as his international connections. This class will appeal to students whose interests cover (among other topics) traditional literary history, narratology/story-telling, and the history of England's cultural contact with the Continent.


There are two stages in the evaluation of this class:

1) A midterm exam (week 7), 30%: students identify a passage from one of the set texts discussed in class and write a critical commentary on it. A list of extracts that might appear on the exam will be circulated beforehand.

2) A final exam (week 13 or 14), 70%: choosing one from two essay questions, students write an extended response to a prompt set by the instructor.

Exigences du cursus d'études

Discovery: Medieval English

Informations supplémentaires


Unicentre - CH-1015 Lausanne - Suisse
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Canton de Vaud
Swiss University