21L.460 | Spring 2015 | Undergraduate

Medieval Literature: Love, Sex, and Marriage


Required Readings

Required to be Purchased

  • [Chaucer] = Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales: Nine Tales and the General Prologue: Authoritative Text, Sources and Backgrounds, Criticism. Edited by Verdel Amos Kolve, and Glending Olson. W. W. Norton & Company Incorporation, 1989. ISBN: 9780393952452.
  • [de Troyes] = de Troyes, Chrétien. Lancelot: The Knight of the Cart. Translated by Burton Raffel. Yale University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780300071214.
  • [Armitage] = Armitage, Simon. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (A New Verse Translation). W. W. Norton & Company, 2008. ISBN: 9780393334159.

Not Required to be Purchased

  • [Salisbury] = Salisbury, Eve. Trials & Joys of Marriage. Western Michigan University, 2002. ISBN: 9781580440356.
  • [Locke] = Capellanus, Andreas. The Art of Courtly Love. Translated by John Jay Parry. Columbia University Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780231073059.
  • [Laskaya] = Laskaya, Anne, and Eve Salisbury, eds. The Middle English Breton Lays. Western Michigan University Medieval, 1995. ISBN: 9781879288621.
  • [Pope] = Pope, Marvin H. Song of Songs. Vol. 7. Yale University Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780300139495.
  • [Clairvaux] = Leclercq, Jean, ed. On the Song of Songs II, Sermons 21-46. Vol. 2. Cistercian Publications, 1976. ISBN: 9780879077075.
  • [Bowie] = Bowie, Fiona. Beguine Spirituality: Mystical Writings of Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beatrice of Nazareth, and Hadewijch of Brabant. Crossroad Publication Company, 1990. ISBN: 9780824509934.
  • [Levitan] = Levitan, William. Abelard & Heloise: The Letters and other Writings. Hackett Publishing Company, Incorporation, 2007. ISBN: 9780872208759. [Preview with Google Books]
  • [Newman] = Newman, Barbara. From Virile Woman to WomanChrist: Studies in Medieval Religion and Literature. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780812215458. [Preview with Google Books]
  • [Georgianna] = Georgianna, Linda. “The Clerk’s Tale and the Grammar of Assent.” Speculum 70, no. 4 (1995): 793–821.
  • [Staley] = Kempe, Margery. The Book of Margery Kempe. Edited by Lynn Staley. The Folio Society, 2004.
  • [Glasscoe] = Glasscoe, Marion, ed. Julian of Norwich: A Revelation of Love. Liverpool University Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780859894203.
  • [Hahn] = Hahn, Thomas, ed. Sir Gawain: Eleven Romances and Tales. Western Michigan University, 1995. ISBN: 9781879288591.
  • [Kooper] = Kooper, Erik. Sentimental and Humorous Romances: Floris And Blancheflour, Sir Degrevant, The Squire of Low Degree, The Tournament of Tottenham, and the Feast of Tottenham. Western Michigan University, 2006. ISBN: 9781580441032.

1 Introductions; Getting comfortable with Middle English (PDF); some medieval songs about married life (“In praise of women,” “Abuse of women”)

[Salisbury] “In praise of women.”

[Salisbury] “Abuse of women.”

2 Medieval marriage lyrics (continued) [Salisbury] “Introduction.”
3–4 Geoffrey Chaucer [Chaucer] “Wife of Bath’s Prologue.”
5 Andreas Capellanus, and Marie de France / Anonymous


[Laskaya] “Lay le Freine.”

6 The Song of Songs, and Medieval Beguines


[Clairvaux] “The Kiss of the Lord’s Feet, Hands and Mouth. Bernard of Claurvaux: Sermon 3 on The Song of Songs.”

[Bowie] “Introduction, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beatrice of Nazareth, and Hadewijch of Brabant.”

7 Abelard and Heloise, and Barbara Newman

[Levitan] “Introduction, Calamities, First Letter - Fifth Letter.”

[Newman] “Hadewijch and Abelard.” pp. 69–75.

8–9 Chrétien de Troyes [de Troyes] “Lancelot: The Knight of the Cart.”
10 Julian of Norwich [Glasscoe]
11 Margery Kempe [Staley]
12 Geoffrey Chaucer (continued) [Chaucer] “Clerk’s Prologue and Tale, Parts 1–3.”
13 Geoffrey Chaucer (continued) and Linda Georgianna

[Chaucer] “Clerk’s Tale, Parts 4–6.”


14 Anonymous / Simon Armitage [Armitage] “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Fitts 1–2.”
15 Anonymous / Simon Armitage (continued) [Armitage] “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Fitts 3–4.”
16 Thomas Chestre [Laskaya] “Sir Launfal.”
17 The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle [Hahn] “The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle.”
18 Geoffrey Chaucer (continued) [Chaucer] “Merchant’s Tale.”
19 Dame Sirith [Salisbury] “Dame Sirith.”
20 Geoffrey Chaucer (continued) [Chaucer] “Franklin’s Tale.”
21 Floris and Blanchefleur [Kooper] “Floris and Blanchefleur.”

Supplemental Readings

Pyles, Thomas, and John Algeo. “The Middle English Period (1100–1500).” Chapter 6 in English: An introduction to language. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970.

Course Info

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Spring 2015
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