English 373: From Courtly Love to Cannibalism: Medieval Romances
MW 2:50-4 p.m., Professor Ruth Nisse
Romance is the narrative form of medieval sexualities and courtly love, but it also gives literary shape to social worlds in which a queer protagonist loses gender, skin color changes with religion, and a dog might be the hero of a tale. We will begin with texts that date from the Romance’s origins in 12th-century France and continue with the form’s development up to the well-known Middle English texts of the 14th century, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight set at King Arthur’s court. Some of the topics we will consider are Romance’s engagement with the religious and ethnic conflicts of the Crusades, theories of good and bad government, and of course, Christian mysticism and the Holy Grail.
Béroul, Romance of Tristan Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances Marie de France, Lais Aucassin and Nicolette The Quest of the Holy Grail Romance of Silence Song of Roland Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Orfeo (Online) The King of Tars (Online) Richard Coer de Lyon (Online)