Faculty of Arts


Arthurian Literature

Please note: this is archived course information from 2012 for ENGLISH 340.


A study of the emergence of the Arthurian story-cycle in early French literature and its later development in England. The first half of the course focuses on two seminal French narratives (in translation), Chrètien de Troyes’ Knight of the Cart, in which the story of Lancelot’s love of Queen Guenivere is related for the first time, and The Quest of the Holy Grail. We take up the problematisation of earthly and spiritual love in these coupled stories. The second half of the course examines comparatively Malory's retelling of the Arthurian legend, especially in Books 6-8 of his Morte d’Arthur. Two other works drawn upon by Malory are considered in the second half of the course: the Middle English Stanzaic Morte Arthur, and a French romance, The Death of Arthur.

Availability 2012

Semester 2


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Tracy Adams
Roger Nicholson

Recommended Reading

English Selections. The Lancelot-Grail Reader: Selections from the Medieval Arthurian Cycle, ed. Norris J. Lacey (Garland); Works of Sir Thomas Malory, ed. Eugene Vinaver, rev. P.J.C. Field (Clarendon); King Arthur’s Death: The Middle English Stanzaic Morte Arthur, ed. Larry D. Benson, rev. Edward E. Forster (West Michigan U).


Coursework + exam


ENGLISH 340: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage II in English or FRENCH 200


ENGLISH 738, 746

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