Home‎ > ‎

EH 450: Chaucer (undergraduate)

The goal of this course is to immerse you in the language, works and
world of the late fourteenth-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, known
affectionately as the “Father of English Poetry.” We will read across
Chaucer works touching on his most important poems. We will read,
further, background and source material related to Chaucer and his
works and various twentieth- and twenty-first century literary critics’
interpretations and close-readings of Chaucer’s works. These critical
readings are meant to enhance discussion as well as provide models for
your own sound close-reading and the the writing of your seminar essay.


Helpful Links:
Chaucer Online Bibliography
Chaucer Metapage (online texts, bibliographies, links to other Chaucer sites, etc.
Middle English Dictionary


CT=Canterbury Tales
TC=Troilus and Criseyde
DV=Dream Visions


In Class


Jan. 7

Introductions, review of syllabus

Jan. 9

Chaucer's Life and Society

Read CT "General Prologue"

Jan 14

The Canterbury Tales "General Prologue"

Read CT "The Knight's Tale"

Jan. 16

"The Knight's Tale"

Read CT "The Miller's Tale" and Strohm "A Mixed Commonwealth"

Jan. 21

"The Miller's Tale"

Read "The Reeve's Prologue and Tale"

Jan 23

"The Reeve's Tale"

Read "The Wife of Bath's Prologue"

Jan 28

"The Wife of Bath's Prologue"

Read "The Wife of Bath's Tale"

Jan 30

"The Wife of Bath's Tale"

Read "The Clerk's Prologue and Tale"

Feb 4

Reading Response Essay Due "The Clerk's Prologue and Tale"

Read "The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale"

Feb 6

"The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale"

Read "The Prioress' Tale" and Boccaccio's Introduction to the Decameron

Feb 11

"The Prioress' Tale"

Read Dinshaw "Eunuch Hermeneutics"

Feb 13

Dinshaw Essay and Critical Writing

Read TC Book I

Feb 18

Troilus and Criseyde Book I

Read Boccaccio Il Filostrato Introduction and Ovid excerpts (ANGEL)

Feb 20

Troilus and Criseyde Sources

Read TC Book II

Feb 27

Close-reading essays due; Troilus and Criseyde Book II

Read TC finish Book II; C.S. Lewis "What Chaucer Really Did…"

Mar. 1

Research and Writing

Read TC Book III

Mar. 4

Troilus and Criseyde Book III

Read TC Book IV

Mar. 6

Troilus and Criseyde Book IV

Read TC Book V

Mar. 11

Troilus and Criseyde Book V

Read Patterson "Chaucer and the Subject…"; Mann "Feminizing Chaucer"

Mar. 13

Catch-Up Day

Mar. 18

Troilus Criticism

Read TC Henryson Testament of Cresseid

Mar 20

Henryson's continuation, Annotated Bibliographies Due by Friday Mar. 22

Mar 25-27

Spring Break

Read DV House of Fame

Apr 1

Argument Abstract Due, The House of Fame

Read Evans "Chaucer in Cyberspace"

Apr 3

The House of Fame

Read The Parliament of Fowles

Apr. 8

The Parliament of Fowles

Muscatine "Chaucer's Early Poems"

Apr. 10

The Parliament of Fowles

Read The Book of the Duchess

Apr. 15

The Book of the Duchess

Read Arthur Bahr, “The Rhetorical Construction of Narrator and Narrative in Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess” (link: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/chaucer_review/v035/35.1bahr.html)

Apr. 17

The Book of the Duchess

Finish Seminar Essay

Apr. 22

Seminar Essays Due