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Exploration : In Bed With Geoffrey Chaucer: The Dream Vision Poems

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

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

Période de validité: 2019 -> 2019

Pas d'horaire défini.


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

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


Before he conceived of the frame narrative for his Canterbury Tales, Chaucer had begun to write what we now call his "dream vision poems." As well as charting an important developmental stage in the author's poetic career, these texts contain some of the most perspicacious and inventive passages in his oeuvre. In them, Chaucer, as narrator, falls asleep, only to re-awaken into a psychedelic world mixing literary history with contemporary politics and philosophical speculation. In this seminar, we will read three of Chaucer's surviving dream vision poems: The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, and The Legend of Good Women. We will also read some of the texts that Chaucer himself knew and that shaped his thinking on the topics that he addresses. With Chaucer as our guide, we'll be thinking through these topics again: how do we mourn for the dead? How do we console the grieving? What is the nature of fame? and of poetry? And to what extent is there room for women's perspectives on these (and many other) themes, in the Middle Ages, and now?


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), 70%: choosing one from two essay questions, students write an extended response to a prompt set by the instructor.


There is a set text for this class, which students are expected to buy: Geoffrey Chaucer: Dream Visions and Other Poems, ed. Kathryn L. Lynch. London: Norton. 2007. The book is now (5.09.19) in stock at booksbooksbooks in Lausanne (https://booksbooksbooks.ch).

Exigences du cursus d'études

Discovery: Medieval English

Informations supplémentaires


Unicentre - CH-1015 Lausanne - Suisse
Tél. +41 21 692 11 11
Canton de Vaud
Swiss University