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Exploration : Sex, Love, and Marriage in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

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

Période de validité: 2019 -> 2019

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps
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. 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 in the high style and have clear links to the most prestigious continental writing of the period. A knight just returned from the battlefield tells a tale of two cousins torn apart by their love of the same woman, for example. Other stories in the Canterbury Tales are of a decidedly more bawdy nature: in the Miller's Tale a suitor expecting a kiss ends up getting a fart in the face and in the Reeve's Tale, two students trick the daughter and the wife of a dishonest miller into sleeping with them. In this course we will endeavor to pay equal attention to the higher and the lower elements in the collection. Our particular focus will fall on the possible sexual, amorous, and marital relationships that Chaucer imagines between men and women.


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.


Students are expected to buy copies of the following book: The Canterbury Tales: Seventeen Tales and the General Prologue, ed. V. A. Kolve and Glending Olson, 3rd. ed. London: Norton, 2018. Copies of this book are available at booksbooksbooks in Lausanne (https://booksbooksbooks.ch).

Informations supplémentaires


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