AU: 4.0
Programme: ELH(HSS)

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is not only the best-known work of medieval English literature but also one of the most diverse, containing within it the full range of medieval genres, from romance to saints' lives to racy tales of amorous conquest. The poem has been compared to a gothic cathedral in its elaborateness of detail and inclusion of seemingly contrary elements. Reading the Tales is thus an ideal introduction to the complex thought, culture, and history of the later Middle Ages-an age deeply different from our own that nevertheless provided the basis for the modern world. In understanding the Tales then, we will try to understand how the Middle Ages both differs from and relates to our own present. You will be reading in Middle English, but no prior experience is expected or required.