Spring 2009

Medieval Love, Sex, Marriage

Listed in: English, as ENGL-32


Amanda A. Walling (Section 01)


This course will examine the literary and cultural meanings of love, sexuality, and marriage in the Middle Ages, with a primary focus on late medieval England. We will explore such phenomena as “courtly love,” bawdy humor, and the place of romantic love in marriage, while we also consider how various authors use the language and concepts of love to explore deeper questions of power, identity, and literary purpose. We will read and discuss selected texts from the Arthurian tradition and from the works of John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer, as well as assorted religious texts, love poems, comic tales of adultery, and debates about the sinfulness of women. Readings will be in translation or in Middle English (of which no prior knowledge is required). Spring semester. Visiting Professor Walling.