Nov 13, 2019  
2018-2019 Catalogue 
2018-2019 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENGL 30016 - Sem Lit & Cult Studies: Bad Romance

Course Credit: 1
Bad Romance [Before 1800] Medieval romance has a terrible reputation. Critics have maligned the authors of chivalric romances as hack writers who narrated preposterous stories in galloping meter. Geoffrey Chaucer parodied these romances in his own Tale of Sir Thopas-a tale so awful that the Host insisted he stop because his drasty ryming was nat worth a toord! But romance was one of the most popular forms of literature in the later Middle Ages. One critic even named it the pulp fiction of its day. Why did people read romances? Are they really aesthetically challenged? What do they say about the world in which they were written? Can they tell us anything about our world? In our quest to answer these and other more theoretical questions, we will read purportedly bad romances like Sir Isumbras and Erle of Toulouse, weird romances like Sir Gowther (a knight who is half devil), horrifying romances like Richard Coer de Lyon (cannibalism) and so-called good romances as well, such as Sir Orfeo and Gawain and the Green Knight. Prerequisite(s): ENGL-20000, and two literature courses; or permission of instructor. [AH]