Chaucer II: The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer II: The Canterbury Tales

Missed Chaucer II? Get the course pack!
Taught by Dr. Corey Olsen

In this class we will study of the great classics of English literature: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  In the Tales, we see Chaucer at the height of his poetic abilities, mixing sensitive characterization and stunning complexity of storytelling with his inimitable wit and good humor.   In our reading of the Canterbury Tales, we will look carefully at the intimate relationship between Chaucer’s stories and their narrative frame, between the tales and their tellers, and we will be watching how Chaucer engages and plays with his various literary sources.  We will be reading Chaucer in his original Middle English, but no previous experience with Middle English is required for the class.

Note: Chaucer I, Visions of Love, is not a prerequisite for Chaucer II.  The two courses merely cover the earlier and later stages of Chaucer’s poetic career.  If you missed Chaucer I, you can find it among our Course Packs.

Course Schedule

Chaucer II: The Canterbury Tales will meet Monday and Thursday from 9:30 pm – 11:00 pm (UTC-5).  Full audio and video recordings of the lecture sessions will be provided promptly for students who cannot attend the sessions live.

Week 1 (May 5 – 9):
The Prologue
Monday: Frames and Beginnings
Thursday: General Prologue I.1-269

Week 2 (May 12 – 16):
From Frame to Story
Monday: General Prologue I.270-858
Thursday: The Knight’s Tale I.859-1880

Week 3 (May 19 – 23):
The Knight
Monday: The Knight’s Tale I.1881-3108
Thursday: The Knight’s Tale, conclusions

Week 4 (May 26 – 30):
The Miller
Monday: The Miller’s Prologue and Tale I.3109-3396
Thursday: The Miller’s Tale I.3397-3854

Week 5 (June 2 – 6):
The Reeve and the Wife
Monday: The Reeve’s Pologue and Tale I.3855-4324
Thursday: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue III.1-452

Week 6 (June 9 – 13):
The Wife of Bath
Monday: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue III.453-856
Thursday: The Wife of Bath’s Tale III.857-1264

Week 7 (June 16 – 20):
The Clerk
Monday: The Clerk’s Prologue and Tale IV.1-609
Thursday: The Clerk’s Tale IV.610-1212

Week 8 (June 23 – 27):
The Merchant
Monday: The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale IV.1213-1865
Thursday: The Merchant’s Tale and Epilogue IV.1866-2440

Week 9 (June 30 – July 4):
The Franklin
Monday: The Franklin’s Prologue and Tale V.709-1100
Thursday: The Franklin’s Tale V.1101-1624

Week 10 (July 7 – 11):
The Pardoner and the Prioress
Monday: The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale VI.287-968
Thursday: The Prioress’s Prologue and Tale VII.453-690

Week 11 (July 14 – 18):
The Narrator and the Nun’s Priest
Monday: The Tale of Sir Thopas VII.691-966
Thursday: The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue and Tale VII.2767-3186

Week 12 (July 21 – 25):
The Nun’s Priest, the Parson, and The End
Monday: The Nun’s Priest’s Tale and Epilogue VII.3187-3462
Thursday: The Parson’s Tale, The Retraction


Required Texts

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