Canterbury Cathedral from the Pilgrims' hospital (photo by Dr. K)
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ENGLISH 511: Chaucer



English 511 provides 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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