MVST-315 Malory's King Arthur
Fall for 2017-2018
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Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur (c. 1469) is the second full-length treatment of the Arthurian legend in English (the first being La?amon’s Brut in the early thirteenth century), and the first to incorporate now-ubiquitous additions such as Sir Lancelot and the Grail quest. Malory himself was a soldier and criminal, writing from prison in the middle of the Wars of the Roses, and his work in many ways reflects that tumultuous backdrop, as well as his own interactions with and adaptations of many and varied source texts. This class will use Le Morte Darthur as a starting point to look at medieval treatments of the Arthurian legend and how Malory uses these different iterations to form a larger, cohesive narrative. Secondary selections include but are not limited to Chrétien de Troyes, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Geoffrey Chaucer, and the Prose Lancelot-Grail cycle. Malory’s text is in Middle English, and secondary texts will be a combination of modern translations from Latin and French and some Middle English. All students should be prepared to read carefully and critically, and to use contextual and secondary material judiciously.
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