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Encounter : Love, Ethics, and Politics in John Gower's Confessio amantis

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


John Gower was one of the most prolific and popular writers in late medieval England. His work, which totals some 80,000 lines, spans medieval England's three literary languages-Latin, French, and English-and treats themes that are of crucial importance both in Gower's own time and in ours, including the state of the polis, the relationships between the individual and the world, and the healing of division. In this class we fill focus on Gower's last long poem, Confessio Amantis, which (despite its Latin title) Gower wrote in his own variety of late Middle English. The Confessio stages a conversation between a lover, Amans, and Genius, who challenges the lover to consider the ways in which he has sinned against love. Using the medieval schema of the seven deadly sins as a guide, Genius prompts Amans to consider his shortcomings; in order to provide further illustration of the sins of love and their dangers, Genius also tells Amans a series of popular stories. By mixing the discourses of courtly love and penance in this way, Gower encourages his readers to think about the broader repercussions of their lives as individuals. In assembling so many popular tales, Gower also provides us with a text that, alongside Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, stands as one of the period's premier story collections. This course will provide students with an introduction to Gower's fascinating poem.


Students will write an essay of 3,000 words citing at least four articles or book chapters. Essay topics will be suggested, but students are also free to follow their own interests. The secondary materials chosen should be recent (ideally post 2000), relevant to the topic discussed, and integrated intelligently into the proposed argument. A bibliography for the course is available online, as are both a general advice sheet for writing the essay and the marking grid according to which essays will be graded. Essays must be submitted to Dr. Critten's email address (rory.critten@unil.ch), as pdfs having the authors' surnames as their titles, by 17.00 on 20.12.19.


See Moodle.

Informations supplémentaires


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