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COURSE NUMBER: ENGL 380
COURSE TITLE: The Once and Future King: Arthurian Legend and Literature
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Brett Roscoe
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Arthur of Britain has figured in legend from the 6th Century to the present day. What accounts for this enduring appeal and influence? In our quest for an answer, this course traces the growth of Arthurian legend, or a specific theme within it, from its medieval roots to its contemporary realization.

Prerequisites: ENGL 215
REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • Coursepack (available at the bookstore)
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth. History of the Kings of Britain. Ed. Michael Faletra. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2008.
  • Malory, Thomas. Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript. Ed. Helen Cooper. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Tennyson, Alfred Lord. Idylls of the King. Ed. J. M. Gray. New York: Penguin Classics, 1983.
  • White, T. H. The Once and Future King. London: Harpercollins, 1996.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Participation10%
Quizzes 5%
Midterm15%
Arthuriana Analysis (2-3 pages)10%
Research Essay (6-8 pages)35%
Final Exam25%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Students will . . .
  • become familiarized with some of the most important texts in the Arthurian literary tradition.
  • develop a sense of the historical trajectory of Arthurian legend and literature
  • develop close reading skills by learning to appreciate the relation between the form and content of literature.
  • be encouraged to read both sympathetically and critically within a Christian framework.
  • practice research and essay writing skills
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • Sept. 2   Introduction to Course (no readings)
  • 4    Arthur, History, and Legend (no readings)
  • 7    Labour Day (no classes)
  • 9     Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain (from book 6 section 103 to book 8 section 119, and also book 8 sections 128-130)
  • 11     Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain (from book 8 section 133 all the way to the end of book 11)
  • 14    The Mabinogion: “How Culhwch Won Olwen” (Coursepack)
  • 16    Introduction to Courtly Love (no readings)
  • 18     Marie de France, “Lanval” (Coursepack)
  • 21    Chrétien de Troyes, “Erec and Enide”
  • 23    IS Conference (regular classes cancelled)
  • 25    Chrétien de Troyes, “Erec and Enide” (Coursepack)
  • 28    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Coursepack)
  • 30    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Oct. 2-5  Malory, Le Morte Darthur: “From the Marriage of King Uther unto King Arthur”
  • 7    Malory, Le Morte Darthur: “The Noble Tale of Sir Lancelot du Lac”
  • 8    Special Presentation: The Knights of the Northern Realm (7-8pm, place TBA)
  • 9  No class. Have a great long weekend!
  • 12    Thanksgiving (no classes)
  • 14  Malory, Le Morte Darthur: “The Tale of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guenevere”
  • 16    Malory, Le Morte Darthur: “The Death of Arthur”
  • 19    Malory, Le Morte Darthur: “The Death of Arthur”    
  • 21    Midterm
  • 23    William Morris, “The Defense of Guinevere” (coursepack)
  • 26    Alfred Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King: “The Coming of Arthur”
  • 28    Tennyson, Idylls of the King: “The Holy Grail”
  • 30*    Tennyson, Idylls of the King: “The Holy Grail” * Arthuriana Analysis due
  • Nov. 2   Tennyson, Idylls of the King: “Guinevere”
  • 4    Tennyson, Idylls of the King: “The Passing of Arthur”
  • 6    Tennyson, Idylls of the King: “The Passing of Arthur”
  • 9     John Masefield, “Gwenivere Tells,” “The Death of Lancelot as Told by Gwenivere” (coursepack)
  • 11    Wendy M. Mnookin, “Guenever Speaks” (coursepack)
  • 13    Remembrance Day (no classes)
  • 16    Richard Wilbur, “Merlin Enthralled”; Valerie Nieman Colander, “The Naming of the Lost”
  • 18*    Arthur in Film (Film TBA) *Research Essay due
  • 20-25    T. H. White, The Once and Future King: “The Sword in the Stone”
  • 27-Dec. 2  White, The Once and Future King: “The Book of Merlyn”  
  • 4    Neil Gaiman, “Chivalry” (coursepack)
  • 7    Review I
  • 9    Review II


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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