a broad acquaintance with the works of "The Father of English Poetry,"
beginning with his early lyric experiments, moving through his unfinished masterpiece, The
Canterbury Tales, and concluding with his Boethian tragedy Troilus and Criseyde . Along
the way we will discuss the Middle English language, cultural and historical events such as
the Black Death and the Hundred Years' War, the rise of a vernacular reading audience, the
roles played by women, the instability of texts transmitted in a manuscript culture, and the
rhetorical impact of elements as diverse as farting, slamming shutters, and talking chickens.
A variety of critical and theoretical approaches will be presented. Prerequisite ENGL 203,
and CRTW 201 with a grade of C- or better, or graduate status.
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