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English 4381
Arthurian Literature
Spring 2004

Thomas A. Ryan
310 Preston Hall
202 Carlisle Hall                                                 
2:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
272-2692 or 272-2758 http: //

Web Page: http: //

Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday: 1:00 p.m. -- 2:30 p.m.

Texts:               Wilhelm, ed., The Romance of Arthur
Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (trans. Owen)

Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival (trans. Mustard & Passage)

The Quest of the Holy Grail ( trans. Matarasso)

Gottfried von Strassburg, Tristan (trans. Hatto)

Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur (trans. Baines)

Course Description: In this course we will read and analyze selected works from the wide spectrum of medieval Arthurian literature. In our study of these works, which range from histories or pseudo-histories to poetic romances to prose romances, we will also have the opportunity to observe some of the most important features of medieval culture and ideology, including courtly love, chivalry, and religion. Furthermore, since the works we shall read have been written over a timespan that includes the beginning of the "Middle Ages" and its end, we may trace the development of Arthurian themes and characters throughout the period. The works we shall read also spring from diverse areas and are written in diverse languages, affording us possible insights into differences in values and cultural responses in the sometimes monolithic-appearing entities that make up the European Middle Ages.

Course Goals: There are three interdependent goals that this course will seek to accomplish this semester. The goals of this course are to broaden and deepen your knowledge of medieval European literature concerning King Arthur and his court, to deepen your general understanding of literature and literary techniques, and to give you practice and instruction in presenting written analyses of literary texts. In order to accomplish these goals, you will be asked to read the assigned literary works, to participate in class discussions, and to write about selected works. You will also be encouraged to make use of computers in learning about and presenting your ideas about Arthurian literature.

Attendance and Drop Policy: Attendance in class and class participation are important. Frequent absences will have a deleterious effect on your grade. It is extremely important that you read the assigned material before coming to class. I will give reading quizzes, if necessary, as an incentive. If for some reason you cannot continue in the class, remember to officially drop the course. It is now against University policy for faculty members to drop students.

Course Requirements: We will have a Midsemester Test and a Final Examination. These tests will be part Scantron and part essay in format. I will also ask you to write four (4) essays (each three to five pages in length) on topics generated from the readings, class discussions, or your explorations on the Internet. These essays may be submitted electronically. Be sure to acknowledge and correctly document the primary and any secondary sources you use. Due dates for the essays are

February 11

March 24

April 21

May 3.

Course Evaluation and Final Grade: The four essays will count as forty percent of your final grade (10% each) and the two tests will count fifty percent (25% each). The final examination is not cumulative. The remaining 10% of your grade will be based on attendance and participation in class.

Student Evaluation of Teaching: Toward the end of the semester, I shall ask your opinion on the success of the course by having you complete the Student Evaluation of Teaching Survey.

Americans with Disabilities Act: The University of Texas at Arlington is on
record as being committed to both the spirit and the letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 93112, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA], pursuant to section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.

Academic Dishonesty: It is the philosophy of the University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." (Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision3.22)

Dates and assignments are tentative.

W Jan 21:                                                Introduction

M Jan 26:                                                "Arthur in the Latin Chronicles"
                                                              "Arthur in the Early Welsh Tradition"

W Jan 28:                                               "The Tale of Culhwch and Olwen"

M Feb 2:                                                 "Arthur in Geoffrey of Monmouth"

W Feb 4:                                                 Wace, Roman de Brut; Layamon, Brut

M Feb 9:                                                 "Episodes from . . . Merlin"

W Feb 11:                                               Malory, "Tale of King Arthur,"
                                                                          "The Tale of King Arthur and the
                                                                                Emperor Lucius"

M Feb 16:                                              "The Rise of Gawain . . .," "The Saga of the Mantle"

W Feb 18-M Feb 23:                                Chretien, Erec and Enide

W Feb 25-M Mar 1:                                 Chretien, Yvain

W Mar 3-M Mar 8:                                  Chretien, Lancelot

W Mar 10:                                              Midsemester Test

M Mar 15-W Mar 17:                                 Spring Break

M Mar 22- W Mar 24:                              Chretien, Perceval

M Mar 29- W Mar 31:                                      Wolfram, Parzival

M Apr  5:                                                Malory, "Tale of Sir Launcelot du Lake,"
                                                                          "Tale of Sir Gareth"

W Apr 7-M Apr 12:                                         Quest of the Holy Grail;
Malory, "Tale of the Sangreal"

W Apr 14:                                              Beroul, The Romance of Tristan
                                                             Marie de France, "Lay of Chievrefueil"

M Apr 19-W Apr 21 :                              von Strassburg, Tristan

M Apr 26- W Apr 28:                              Malory, "The Book of Sir Tristram of Lyoness

M May 3:                                               Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur: Remaining sections

W May 5:                                               Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur: Remaining sections, cont.;
                                                                         from The Alliterative Morte Arthure

M May 10:                                              Final Examination (2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

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