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Come to the Bancroft at your assigned time if possible. I'll
be there, in the Krouzian Room, from 10 to 1.
When you arrive at the Bancroft, check your belongings in the locker room straight ahead and to the left as you enter the front door. Then go up the circular stair-case and look for the Krouzian Room.
Topic 1: "Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars." Discuss the
self-characterization of the Wife of Bath, and her application of
that characterization to women at large. Test your
conclusions against the Wife of Bath's own tale, the Knight's Tale, and
at least one other tale. This third tale should be one with challenges,
for example the Man of Law's Tale, in which the formula which the Wife
of Bath assigns to herself may not easily apply.
In short, your job is first to understand the Wife of Bath's self-analysis, and then to decide how far it can be applied to other characters in the Canterbury Tales, both male and female.
Topic 2: "Chaucer and Morality". Identify and discuss moments
or entire tales in Chaucer which you find morally repugnant.
Your discussion, which must involve comparisons with at least two other
tales, should entail a wider discussion of the relationship between
(literary) art and standards of public or private morality.
You might argue, for example, that a work of literature can be both esthetically pleasing and morally repugnant; that moral repugnance compromises or vitiates esthetic value; that standards of art and morality change over time; that standards of art and morality are universal; that value is found in the work and not in yourself as reader; or indeed you might take a position not articulated in this list.
Whatever your argument, you must work from the text, citing often and making comparisons between tales. Your arguments must be systematic and coherent, and move toward an explicit conclusion.
Thursday, 20 March, 7-9 p.m., 2600 Buena Vista Way
Buena Vista is about 7 blocks north of Campus, connecting with Euclid (turn right one block north of Cedar) and La Loma (turn left one block north of Cedar). In case you feel it is necessary to confirm, phone 848-1992.
Carefully examine Criseyde's internal "dialogue," which begins on line 694 of Book II of Troilus and Criseyde. In an essay of approximately 1000 words (4 pages), consider whether this "dialogue" serves as the primary key to Criseyde's character throughout Troilus and Criseyde.
Although there is no "right" or "wrong" answer to the question, it is obvious that if you think the "dialogue" does serve as the primary key, then it is more important than any other key in the text; if it doesn't, then some other key is more important than it. Thus whichever way you argue, the essay must compare this passage to at least one other passage in the text.
See Instructions for Writing Papers
Chaucer, from Ellsmere MS, Huntington Library
The Manciple from Cambridge University Library MS
English 111 CHAUCER Spring 2003 Mr. Nelson 170 Barrows Hall Class website: socrates.berkeley.edu/~ahnelson/ MWF 11:00-12:00 Tentative Reading Schedule NB: For Canterbury Tales: relevant introductions, and prologues and/or epilogues are included in the reading for the day. We Jan 22 Introduction; "Adam Scriveyn"; Language Fr 24 Chaucer's Language (guest lecture) Mo 27 Book of the Duchess We 29 ditto Fr 31 Romance of the Rose (selections) Mo Feb 03 Troilus and Criseyde, Book I We 05 ditto Fr 07 Troilus and Criseyde, Book II Mo 10 ditto We 12 Troilus and Criseyde, Book III Fr 14 ditto Mo 17 Presidents' Day Holiday We 19 Troilus and Criseyde, Book IV Fr 21 ditto Mo 24 Troilus and Criseyde, Book V We 26 ditto First Paper Due Fr 28 Midterm exam Mo Mar 03 Canterbury Tales: General Prologue We 05 ditto Fr 07 ditto Mo 10 Knight's Tale We 12 ditto Fr 14 ditto Mo 17 Miller's Tale We 19 Reeve's Tale; Cook's Tale Fr 21 Man of Law's Tale [double-penalty for absence] SPRING BREAK Mo 31 Wife of Bath's Prologue [double-penalty for absence] We Apr 02 Wife of Bath's Tale Fr 04 Friar's Tale Second Paper Due Mo 07 Summoner's Tale We 09 Clerk's Tale Fr 11 No class Mo 14 Merchant's Tale** We 16 Franklin's Tale Fr 18 No class Mo 21 Pardoner's Prologue and Tale** We 23 Shipman's Tale Fr 25 Prioress's Tale Mo 28 Tale of Sir Thopas; Tale of Melibee Third Paper Due We 30 Monk's Tale, Canon's Yeoman's Tale Fr May 02 Nun's Priest's Tale Mo 05 Parson's Tale, Retraction We 07 Catch-up day Fr 09 Retrospective review Mo 12 Final review Final Examination: Monday, 19 May, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
1) You are responsible for checking the instructor's website at least once a week for current announcements.
2) You are expected to have read each assignment in advance of the class-period in which that assignment is discussed, and to make regular contributions to class discussion.
3) You are expected to attend class regularly: attendance will be taken most days. Unexcused absences beyond three will result in a reduction in the final grade by one grade-increment (i.e. from B- to C+) for each such absence.
4) Do not miss class on the day a paper is due: missing class is a graver sin and will incur a harsher penalty than submitting a paper a day late.
5) Several Chaucer readings will be organized during the semester, late-afternoons and evenings. Although you are not required to attend, you are urged to participate in at least one reading.
6) You are reminded of the Department of English policy regarding plagiarism.
7) Final admonition: You are required to read all works assigned over the semester. The mid-term and final examinations will be designed to test whether you have done the required reading. Failure to accomplish the required reading will be grounds for a failing final grade regardless of how well you may do in other aspects of this course.
Chaucers Wordes unto Adam, his owne Scriveyn Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle Boece or Troylus for to wryten newe, Under thy long lokkes thou most have the scalle. But after my makyng thow wryte more trewe; So ofte adaye I mot thy werk renewe, It to correcte and eke to rubbe and scrape, And al is thorugh thy negligence and rape.
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