Spring Semester 2005.
Graduate School 012 - 452
Studies in Chaucer
Wednesdays at 2pm
Brother Anthony (An Sonjae)

This course introduces some of Chaucer's writings. All the lectures, class presentations, discussions, and reports will be in English.

March 2 Week 1 Introduction to the Middle Ages, to Chaucer and his works
                   Read my article on Romantic Love (also in Korean)
March 9 Week 2 Backgrounds to Chaucer: Boethius and ideas about the meaning of life.
        Discuss what Boethius is saying about Fortune in Book 2 of the Consolation of Philosophy.
March 16 Week 3  The Italian literary backgrounds: Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio.
        Compare the achievements of these three writers with Chaucer's
March 23 Week 4  Troilus and Criseyde  Books 1-3
        How is love represented in Book 3?
March 30 Week 5  Troilus and Criseyde Books 4-5
        What is the view of love suggested by the last part of the poem?
April 6 Week 6 The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (Text with notes) (General Introduction)
        How far should the portraits be seen as satirical?
April 13 Week 7  The Knight's Tale (Full text) (Abbreviated text for class)
        What vision of love and of human life is expressed here? Read my article
April 20 Week 8 The Miller's Tale  (Text) (General Introduction)
        To what extent is this a "good story"? Compare it with the Reeve's Tale.
April 27 Week 9 The Nun's Priest's Tale (Text) (Article) (General Introduction)
        Why is this beast-fable so long? Read my article  then  read my other article.
May 4 Week 10  The Wife of Bath :  Prologue and Tale (General Introduction)
        What is the relationship between medieval Anti-feminism and the Prologue? How does the Prologue connect with the Tale?
May 11 Week 11 The Clerk : Prologue and Tale
        How is this horrible story to be understood? What different ways of reading it are proposed by the text?
May 18 Week 12 The Pardoner's Introduction, Prologue and Tale (General Introduction)
        What is the relation between teller and Tale? Read my article  (also in Korean)
May 25 Week 13 The Nun's Tale
        How is this tale related to the others we have seen? Read my article
June 1 Week 14 English literature at the time of Chaucer.
        The English Romances: King Horn, Havelok, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. .
June 8 Week 15 Religious writing: Piers Plowman, Julian, Margery Kempe, drama


1. For most of the texts: Volume One of the Norton Anthology.

2. For most of the Canterbury Tales: Brother Anthony and Lee Dong-Chun, Textual Criticism of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (SNU Press)
also Lee Dong-Chun and Lee Dong-Il Translation of the Canterbury Tales into Korean
also Kim Jae-Whan Translation of Troilus and Criseyde into Korean
The Cambridge Chaucer Companion
The Oxford Guides to the Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde
Derek Brewer's Guide to Chaucer.

3. For background information and an overall survey:  Brother Anthony's Literature in British Society, Volume One (Sogang University Press).

Written Assignment

Each student will write a lengthy paper beginning with detailed studies of 3 tales from the Canterbury Tales, then discussing the general topic:
either: Relations between men and women shown in the Canterbury Tales
or: Techniques of tale-telling and the question of truth in the Canterbury Tales

Recent Studies for Reference

Parts of Brother Anthony's Home Page may  be of help: especially one with an introduction to Chaucer (including the Canterbury Tales) and one with a variety of materials about some other medieval texts. Any student really interested will also explore the resources listed on his Medieval Resources page.

Chaucer - related

The Cambridge Chaucer Companion (Boitani & Mann) Cambridge
A New Introduction to Chaucer 2nd edition (Derek Brewer) Longman
The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer (Derek Pearsall) Blackwell
The Oxford Guides to The Canterbury Tales (Mann), Troilus and Criseyde (Windeatt), and The Shorter Poems (Minnis)
An Introduction to the Canterbury Tales (Helen Phillips) St. Martin's
The Canterbury Tales (Derek Pearsall) George Allen & Unwin
Chaucer and the Subject of History (Lee Patterson) Routledge
Chaucer and his Readers (Seth Lerer) Princeton
Chaucer and the Energy of Creation (Edward I. Condren) UPF
Chaucer's 'Troilus & Criseyde' Essays in Criticism. (ed. R.A.Shoaf) MRTS
Chaucer's England (ed. Barbara Hanawalt) Minnesota
Chaucer and his English Contemporaries (W.A.Davenport) St. Martin's
Chaucer and the Late Medieval World (Lillian M. Bisson) St. Martin's
Chaucer: 1340-1400: The Life and Times of the First English Poet (Richard West) Carroll & Graf


Courtliness and Literature in Medieval England (David Burnley) Longman
Public Reading and the Reading Public in late medieval England and France (Joyce Coleman)  Cambridge
City and Spectacle in Medieval Europe (Hanawalt & Reyerson) Minnesota
Bodies and Disciplines (Hanawalt & Wallace) Minnesota
An Introduction to the Gawain - Poet (Ad Putter) Longman
Images of Faith in English Literature 700 - 1599 (Dee Dyas) Longman
English Medieval Mystics (Marion Glasscoe) Longman
Chaucer to Spencer: An Anthology (ed. Derek Pearsall) Blackwell