Arthurian Romance

David Wilson-Okamura     English 60-01     Spring 2001     Macalester College

Traces the evolution of Arthurian legend (including the legend of the Holy Grail) from its sources in Celtic mythology. Includes works by French and Welsh authors in translation.

Jan 29

M

Introduction: Romance

31

W

Selections from Gildas, On the Fall of Britain and Nennius, History of the Britains (web)

Feb 2

F

Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain (web)

5

M

Mabinogion, "Lludd and Llevelys" (pp. 128-33), "Dream of Rhonabwy" (pp. 177-91)

7

W

Mabinogion, "Gereint and Enid" (pp. 258-97); cf. at your leisure Chrestien's "Erec and Enide"

9

F

Mabinogion, "Owein, or The Countess of the Fountain" (pp. 192-216)

12

M

Chrestien de Troyes, Yvain (pp. 281-373)

14

W

Chrestien, Lancelot (pp. 185-280)

16

F

Lancelot (cont.)

19

M

Chrestien, Perceval (pp. 375-495)

21

W

Perceval (cont.)

23

F

Mabinogion, "Peredur" (pp. 217-57)

26

M

Marie de France, Lais: prologue, "Guigemar," "Equitan," "Le fresne" (pp. 39-67)

28

W

Lais: "Bisclavret," "Lanval," "Les deux amanz," "Yonec" (pp. 68-93)

Mar 2

F

Lais: "Laüstic," "Milun," "Chaitivel," "Chevrefoil," "Eliduc" (pp. 94-126)

5

M

The Quest of the Holy Grail, introduction, chs. 1-5 (pp. 9-94)

7

W

Quest, chs. 6-9 (pp. 94-207)

9

F

Quest, chs. 10-15 (pp. 207-284)

12

M

First paper due; "Corpus Christi Carol" (handout)

14

W

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (cont.)

16

F

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (cont.)

17-25

 

Spring break

26

M

Malory, Morte Darthur (abbreviated as MD), "How Uther Pendragon begot the Noble Conqueror King Arthur" (pp. 1-32); note Glossary of Recurrent Words on pp. xxxii-xxxiii

28

W

MD, "The Tale of Balin and Balan," "The Wedding of King Arthur," and "Of Nenive and Morgan le Fay" (pp. 33-81)

30

F

No class; we will schedule a make-up class to discuss MD, "Noble Tale of Sir Lancelot du Lake," "A Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney" (pp. 95-168)

Apr 2

M

MD, "Sir Tristram de Lyonesse" (pp. 169-280)

4

W

MD, "Of Sir Galahad," "Of Sir Lancelot," "Of Sir Tristram & of Sir Palomides" (pp. 281-309)

6

F

MD, "The Tale of Sir Lancelot and Queene Guenivere" (pp. 403-67)

9

M

MD, "The Death of Arthur" (pp. 468-527)

11

W

Malory: loose ends

13

F

Good Friday

16

M

Tennyson, Idylls of the King: dedication, "The Coming of Arthur," "Merlin and Vivien"

18

W

Tennyson, "The Lady of Shalott," "Lancelot and Elaine"

20

F

Tennyson, "Guinevere," "The Morte Darthur"

23

M

Morris, "Two Red Roses across the Moon," "The Defence of Guenevere," "King Arthur's Tomb," "Sir Galahad, a Christmas Mystery," "The Chapel in Lyonesse," "Near Avalon" (web)

25

W

Arnold, "Tristram and Iseult" (web)

27

F

Swinburne, "Tristram of Lyonesse," ll. 1-2,184 (web)

30

M

"Tristram of Lyonesse," ll. 2,185-end (web)

May 2

W

Second paper due; Robert Warde on Arthur in Victorian painting

4

F

Stephen Burt on Arthur in modern poetry

7

M

John Donne, "The Relique," "The Funerall" (handout)

Required Texts

Chrétien de Troyes. Arthurian Romances. Trans. D. D. R. Owen. London: Dent, 1993.

Gantz, Jeffrey, trans. The Mabinogion. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.

Malory, Sir Thomas. Le Morte Darthur. Ed. Helen Cooper. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford: OUP, 1998.

Matarasso, P. M., trans. The Quest of the Holy Grail. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969.

Tennyson, Alfred, Lord. Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems. New York: New American Library, 1987.

Tolkien, J. R. R., trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. New York: Ballantine, 1975.

Requirements

Hard copies of all assignments are due at the beginning of the class period. Assignments delivered after that will receive a lower grade. (For instance, an A- essay that is delivered up to 24 hours late will receive a B+, an A- essay that is delivered between 24 and 48 hours late will receive a B, and so on.)

Essays. Over the course of the semester you will submit two essays (3,000-3,500 words each) on course readings of your choice. (It may, in some cases, be possible to write on a text that does not appear on the syllabus, but you will need to talk to me first.)

Discussion and Weekly Analysis. Your essays will make up approximately two thirds of your grade for this course. The remainder will be determined by a combination of class participation and a weekly writing assignment of about 800 words.

There will be no midterm or final exams in this course. Instead, you will submit a weekly written analysis of the previous week's discussion. Your analysis of week one will be due at the first class meeting of week two and so on.

A good analysis will summarize the content of the previous week's discussion, but it will also evaluate that discussion: what, for instance, got left out of the conversation last week, and why does it matter? Because these assignments take the place of midterm and final exams, they will be graded. This means that spelling, grammar, and punctuation count, as well as style and content.

One final note. Each written analysis will be submitted in two forms: to me, on paper, and to the members of the class, by emailing it to the course mailing list, arthurian-romance@virgil.org.

Attendance and Reading. There is one more requirement for this course: you have to come to class and you have to do the reading. If you don't, you'll get a no credit (nc) for the semester, even if you hand in all of the graded assignments. Not coming to class = missing nine or more class meetings. Not doing the reading = failing more random reading quizzes than you pass. Note: these quizzes are impossible to fail if you have done the reading; if you haven't done the reading, or you aren't in class to take them, you may find them something of a challenge.

Email. Announcements and changes to the syllabus will be delivered by email.

Extensions

Everyone gets a two-day extension on one paper over the course of the semester. You choose which one. You don't need to ask me ahead of time: just hand in a sheet of paper with your name on it that says "I'm taking my extension on this paper." In the interests of fairness, however, no one will be granted a second extension.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is using someone else's words or ideas in such a way that a reader cannot distinguish them from your own work. As such, it is a form of cheating. If you have questions about plagiarism, please ask me about it before your paper is due; after a paper is handed in it's too late to claim ignorance. This is important: the standard penalty for a first cheating offense at Macalester College is an F on the assignment.

Important times, phone numbers, addresses

Office: Old Main 205 (phone 651.696.6643)

Email: wilson-okamura@virgil.org

Office hours: m 3:30-4:30, wf 1:20-2:20. Extra hours as needed and by appointment. If you'd like to schedule an appointment--and I encourage you to do so if these hours don't work for you--just grab me after class or give me a phone call and we'll set up a time. If you call my office and I'm not there, do try me at home, though not after 9:00 pm, please; the phone number there is 651.699.3577.

Email discussion group for this course: arthurian-romance@virgil.org.

Course materials on the web: http://www.virgil.org/dswo/courses/arthurian-romance

Reference

Cambridge History of English and American Literature, The. 18 vols. New York: Putnam, 1907-1921. Online: http://www.bartleby.com/cambridge/

Catholic Encyclopedia, The. 15 vols. New York: Encyclopedia Press, 1913.
Online: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

Cross, F. L., and E. A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 2nd ed. London: Oxford UP, 1974. BR95.O8.1974.

Harner, James L. Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies. 3rd ed. New York: MLA, 1998. Z2011.H34.1998.

Langer, William L. An Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972. D21.L27.1972.

MLA International Bibliography. New York: Modern Language Association, 1967-.
Online: http://www-minitex.lib.umn.edu/erl-bin/macalstr/webspirs.cgi

Oxford English Dictionary, The. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1989. PE1625.O87.1989.
Online: http://dictionary.oed.com/entrance.dtl

Preminger, Alex, and T. V. F. Brogan, eds. The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993. PN1021.N39.1993.

Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sir Sidney Lee, eds. The Dictionary of National Biography. 24 vols. plus supplements. London: Oxford UP, 1921-. DA28.D48.

Strayer, Joseph R., ed. Dictionary of the Middle Ages. 13 vols. New York: Scribner, 1982-1989. D114.D5.1982.

Szarmach, Paul E., et al., eds. Medieval England: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 1998. DA129.M43.1998.

Reserve

Archibald, Elizabeth, and A. S. G. Edwards, eds. A Companion to Malory. Cambridge: Brewer, 1996. PR2045.C66.1996.

Ashe, Geoffrey, et al. The Quest for Arthur's Britain. New York: Praeger, 1968. DA152.2.A7.A827.1968.

Benson, Larry D. Malory's Morte Darthur. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1976. PR2045.B4.5.

Fenster, Thelma S., ed. Arthurian Women: A Casebook. New York: Garland, 1996. PN682.W6.A78.1996.

Girouard, Mark. The Return to Camelot: Chivalry and the English Gentleman. New Haven: Yale UP, 1981. DA533.G5.

Krueger, Roberta L., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. PN671.C36.2000.

Lacy, Norris J., gen ed. Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation. 5 vols. New York: Garland, 19931996. PQ1489.L2.E5.1993 v. 15.

-----, ed. The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 1991. DA152.5.A7.N48.1991.

-----, and Geoffrey Ashe, with Debra N. Mancoff. The Arthurian Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: Garland, 1997. PN685.L3.1997.

Lewis, C. S. The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964. PN671.L39.

Loomis, Roger Sherman, ed. Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages: A Collaborative History. Oxford: Clarendon, 1959. PN57.A6.L6.

Malory, Sir Thomas. The Works of Sir Thomas Malory. Ed. Eugène Vinaver. Oxford English Texts. 2nd ed. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1967. PR2041.V5 v.1, v. 2, v. 3. Note: volume 3 has notes on sources, &c.

Mancoff, Debra N. The Arthurian Revival in Victorian Art. New York : Garland, 1990. N6767 .M32.1990.

Staines, David. Tennyson's Camelot: the Idylls of the King and Its Medieval Sources. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 1982. PR5560.S734.1982x.

Wallace, David, ed. The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. PR255.C35.1999.

Williams, Charles. The Figure of Arthur in Taliessin through Logres Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974. PR6045.I5.T3.1974.