ENG311H1S - L0101

Medieval Literature


Tuesday 2 pm - 3 pm, Thursday 2 pm - 4 pm


C. Balot

E-mail: carroll.balot@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course

An introduction to non-Chaucerian medieval literature for advanced undergraduates. This survey of medieval English literature will include a variety of genres, including romance, elegy, and hagiography, and forms, including lai, prose, stanzaic poetry, and drama. Historically, the course is framed by Marie de France’s late 12th c. Old French lai romances and the Corpus Christi plays, and although we will discuss some of the historical events that are important to understanding these works, emphasis will not be on a linear historical narrative. Instead, we will attempt to formulate and enact a reading practice for each work that grows out of the demands of the text itself, considering the way these works have visions of the world and our place in it. The focus will be on close reading of the primary texts with some supplementary historical documents and secondary literary criticism.

Required Reading(s)

Marie de France, lais; Malory’s Morte Darthur; Mandeville’s Travels; Langland’s Piers Plowman; Pearl, Book of Margery Kempe; York Mystery Plays

First Three Authors/Texts

Marie de France, Malory, Mandeville’s Travels.

Method of Evaluation

  • Short essays
  • Term tests
  • Discussion.