Spring Semester 2008. English 12 - 160

Studies in Chaucer

Wed / Fri 13:30  X229

Brother Anthony (An Sonjae)

This course introduces some of Chaucer's works, especially the Canterbury Tales. All the lectures and reports will be in English.

Week 1  Introduction to the European Literature of the Middle Ages (Korean version)

Week 2 Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Chaucer

Week 3 (No class Good Friday) Boethius Consolation of Philosophy

Week 4 Troilus and Criseyde  Books 1-2Book 3

Week 5 Trolius and Criseyde  Books 4 -5

Week 6  The Knight’s Tale  (Abbreviated text for class) (Abbreviated text in PDF format for printing.)

Week 7 The Knight’s Tale continued

Week 8  The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales  (Text with notes) (General Introduction) (Extracts in modernized spelling PDF File for printing)

Week 9   Mid-term Exams

Week 10  The Miller’s Tale (Text) (General Introduction)  PDF file for printing

Week 11  The Nun's Priest's Tale (Text) (Article) (General Introduction) PDF file for printing

Week 12  The Wife of BathPrologue and Tale (General Introduction)  (Texts in modern spelling)   PDF file for printing    Romance of the Rose

Week 13  The Wife of Bath continued

Week 14  The Pardoner's Introduction, Prologue and Tale (General Introduction) Texts in modern spelling PDF file for printing  Read my article  (also in Korean)

Week 15 (No class Friday) The Pardoner continued
Week 16 Conclusion

Week 17 Exams



Students must prepare for class each week by reading the text in a Korean translation:  Troilus and Criseyde by 김재환, for the Canterbury Tales either that by 김진만 or by 이동춘 and 이동일

For the English text of 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. Short versions of Troilus and Criseyde and the Knight's Tale can be printed out using the link on Br Anthony’s home page.

Brother Anthony's Literature in English Society Part 1: The Middle Ages (Sogang University Press) gives more background to the course.


For the Midterm Evaluation, each student will write a report comparing the ways the themes of Fortune, happiness and love are treated in
Troilus and Criseyde and the Knight's Tale (due on the Tuesday after the exams).

Each student will prepare a final report of some length (due on the Tuesday after the exams), discussing the narratorial strategies and the different varieties of “story-telling” found in the Wife of Bath's Prologue & Tale and the Pardoner's Prologue and Tale. Discuss the relationship of Teller and Tale in each case.


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

More Links

My home page's  Introduction to Chaucer   My Chaucer linksMedieval links. Jane Zatta's 14th-century History 
The Cambridge Troilus picture. The Caxton editions.
The Knight's Tale  Read my article
The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (Edwin Duncan's online text with pop-up translations and notes for Netscape / ExplorerImages from Ellesmere. Images from several Mss.
The Nun's Priest's Tale Marie de France's Fable  Read my article  then  read my other article.
 The Nun's Tale  Read my article

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