ENGLISH 140 - First-Year Seminar on English Language and Literature
Section: 003 Arthurian Literature
Term: FA 2013
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Course Note:
A course in the LSA First-Year Seminar Program taught by a faculty member. Course involves focused study of selected topics in English language and literature through classroom discussion and the writing of essays.
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Magic weapons, mysterious springs, irresistible and tragic love, heroic knights, damsels both distressed and distressing: Arthurian literature has exerted an enduring fascination for audiences and readers for nearly 1500 years.

This course will sample versions of Arthurian characters and stories, both serious and comic, from the war heroes of early Welsh folktale; the ideal chivalric society of high medieval romance (where many of our modern ideas of love originated); Malory’s full Arthurian cycle (from the Sword in the Stone through Lancelot and Guinevere, the quest for the Holy Grail, the downfall of the Round Table and the otherworldly end of Arthur, the “once and future king”); and modern appropriations in works such as Mark Twain’s satire A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and Monte Python’s “Monte Python and the Holy Grail” (and perhaps, cheesy as it may be, the “Merlin” series from the BBC).

We will compare and discuss changes in the cultural ideals represented by shared characters who reappear, to different effect, across many works for many kinds of readers. The central questions we will try to address is: Why Arthur? What is it about this legendary material that has proven so resilient, and so compelling to the countless generations of writers and readers who have appropriated it to express their own values and purposes, from the twelfth century through 2012?

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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ENGLISH 140 - First-Year Seminar on English Language and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
004 (SEM)
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 046087389X
Arthurian romances, Author: Chretien de Troyes ; translated, with an introduction and notes, by D.D.R. Owen., Publisher: Dent Reissued. 1993
ISBN: 0393974642
Le morte Darthur, or, The hoole book of Kyng Arthur and of his noble knyghtes of the Rounde Table : authoritative text, sources and backgrounds, criticism, Author: Sir Thomas Malory ; edited by Stephen H.A. Shepherd., Publisher: Norton 1st ed. 2004
ISBN: 0140422536
Idylls of the king, Author: Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Ed. by J.M. Gray., Publisher: Penguin Books Reprinted. 1983
ISBN: 0199540586
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court, Author: Mark Twain ; edited with an introduction and notes by M. Thomas Inge., Publisher: Oxford University Press Reissued. 2008
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