This course provides a comprehensive introduction to Middle English literature. We will read a wide variety of genres and subjects, from the aggressive debate of ‘The Owl and the Nightingale’ to adventurous medieval romances, and from the tragedy of Troilus and Criseyde to the religious comedy of the Second Shepherds’ Play. As we explore this diversity, we will consider early English literature in the context of important historical and cultural changes during the Middle Ages.
Selected texts will be read in Middle English with the help of a glossary. No experience reading Old or Middle English is required.
Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, trans. by Barry Windeatt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, trans. by Barry Windeatt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).
Other texts will be made available online.