Spring Semester 2006.

English 12 - 160
Studies in Chaucer
Tues / Thurs 11am
Brother Anthony (An Sonjae)

This course introduces Medieval culture through some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. All the lectures, class presentations, discussions, and reports will be in English.

Week 1 (No class on Tuesday) Introduction to the Middle Ages and Chaucer. My home page Introduction to Chaucer  . My Chaucer linksMedieval links.
Week 2 (No class Thursday, Mass) Introduction continued The Cambridge Troilus picture. The Caxton editions.
Week 3 The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (Text with notes (General Introduction) (Extracts in modernized spelling)
   (Edwin Duncan's online text with pop-up translations and notes for Netscape / ExplorerImages from Ellesmere. Images from several Mss.
Week 4 (The General Prologue continued)
Week 5 The Knight's Tale (Full text) (Abbreviated text)  (Abbreviated text in PDF format for printing.)
Week 6     (continued)
Week 7 (continued) (no class Thursday, Easter)

Week 8  Mid-term Exams

Week 9 The Nun's Priest's Tale (Text) (Article) (General Introduction) Marie de France's Fable
Week 10 (continued)
Week 11  The Wife of BathPrologue and Tale (General IntroductionTexts in modern spelling (Adobe Acrobat file)
Week 12 (continued)
Week 13 The Pardoner's Introduction, Prologue and Tale (General IntroductionTexts in modern spelling (Adobe Acrobat file)
Week 14 (continued)
Week 15 (No class Tuesday 6.6Final Exams


For the Canterbury Tales: Brother Anthony  and Lee Dong-Chun, Textual Criticism of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (SNU Press) This contains the text, together with introductions and notes in Korean. You may also use a Korean translation for class preparation.

Texts for all but the Knight's Tale will also be found in the Norton Anthology of English Literature Part 1. The short version of the Knight's Tale can be printed out using the link above.

Brother Anthony's Literature in English Society Part 1: The Middle Ages (Sogang University Press)

Students are strongly encouraged to read most of Brother Anthony's book during the winter vacation, in preparation, especially the chapter dealing with Chaucer in his European context (pages 115 - 154). 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.

Major Topics

* The social and individual (moral) aspects of the portraits in the General Prologue. The ways in which the narrator influences (and does not influence) readers' responses to the various pilgrims.
* The influence of Boethius (Consolation of Philosophy) and the question of destiny and human freedom in the Knight's Tale. The way in which the pre-Christian setting affects our reading.
* The contrast between the idealized love of the Knight's Tale and the frankly physical desire of the Miller's Tale.
* The confusing rhetoric of the Nun's Priest's Tale and the question of how an audience is to find the 'moral' of a story.
* The anti-feminist attitude to women expressed in (or challenged in) the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale.
* The relationship between the Christian message and the people working in and for the Church in the General Prologue and the Pardoner's Prologue / Tale


Each student will prepare a Research File with pictures and (handwritten) text about the society and culture of England in the 14th century ("Backgrounds to Chaucer") for submission in the 12th week of semester.

For the Midterm Evaluation, each student will write a report about the contrast between love and chivalry in the Knight's Tale (due on the Tuesday after the exams). Students who will be away on teaching practice should write a report about the way Chaucer writes the portraits of the pilgrims in the General Prologue and submit it before they leave.

Each student will prepare a final report of some length (due on the Monday after the exams), discussing the three Tales we study after the midterm exam, treating each Tale separately before a final section comparing the three. The study will deal with the way each story is told ("narratorial technique"), with the tensions between male and female in the first two tales, and with the philosophical, moral or human issues underlying the tales.


In addition to the above assignments, there will be a midterm and a final examination. Each exam and report will be of equal importance, the Scrapbook will be equal to 50% of a report..