ENG 250 Chaucer

Nancy Bradbury, M W 2:40 PM-4:00 PM

This course is devoted to a study of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English. The Tales represent the most popular narrative genres of the High Middle Ages, including chivalric romances, moral and devotional works, and indecent comic tales. Through close study of the tales and of the famous framing story that unites them, students acquaint themselves with Chaucer's skills as a poet and with the major concerns of a fascinating period of English and European history. Some narrative techniques have their counterparts in fiction of recent centuries; others will be new to modern readers. A sourcebook of primary texts from Chaucer’s period helps to provide an introduction and context for Chaucer's world—social, philosophical, and religious, as well as literary. Students will translate aloud in class and will learn how to pronounce Middle English.

Requirements include translation quizzes, short exercises, a critical paper, a research paper, and a final examination.


Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales Complete, ed. Larry D. Benson, Houghton Mifflin 2000, paperback, ISBN 0–395–97823–8
Carolyn P. Collette and Harold Garrett-Goodyear, The Later Middle Ages:  A Sourcebook, Palgrave 2011, paperback, ISBN 978-1-4039-4278-4