W102 | The Arthurian Romances of Chrétien de Troyes:       Armor vs. ‘Amour’ in 12th-century France


11:30 am-1:00 pm


1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24 & 3/3

Six Sessions


This course is offered online via the easy-to-use Zoom program.

CLOSED- AT CAPACITYArthurian literature as we know it begins with Chrétien de Troyes.  Drawing on Celtic lore and pseudo-historical chronicles, he created the romance, a new literary form, to recount the chivalric exploits of King Arthur’s knights. Abounding in otherworldly marvels alongside realistic depictions of 12th-century social norms, Chrétien’s romances also offer psychological insights into the struggles of individual knights as they negotiate the difficult balance between the demands of armed prowess and the dictates of courtly love.  Each of the four romances we will read explores this tension between battlefield and bedchamber.  It is for us as readers to judge the success of the resolutions they achieve. 


Recommended Reading: 

Feel free to use either of the following translations: 

The Complete Romances of Chrétien de Troyes, trans. David Staines. [Indiana University Press, 1st paperback ed. 1993, reprinted 2010]  

A very good translation with readable print.  This is the translation I will be using for class. 

Chrétien de Troyes Arthurian Romances, trans. William Kibler & Carleton W. Carrol. [Penguin Classics, 1991] 

The translations in this paperback are good but not as vigorous as those by Staines.  The print is small. 

Please read as much of the first romance, Eric and Enide, as you can before the first class session. 

Mary Rogers received an Honours A.B. in Philosophy and English from the University of Toronto, an M.A. in English from Seton Hall University, and an M.A. and A.B.D. in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.  After a decade of teaching at Seton Hall University, she moved to the Berkshires and taught for a number of years at Monument Mountain Regional High School.  She studied Arthurian literature on a summer NEH fellowship at the University of Puget Sound. 


Syllabus: THE ARTHURIAN ROMANCES OF CHRÉTIEN de TROYES syllabus 1-11-21.docx

Session 1 (1/27) Discussion Questions: DISCUSSION FOCUS SUGGESTIONS FOR 27 JANUARY 2021.docx


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