FALL, 2006                                    RICE UNIVERSITY                       DR. JANE CHANCE



2:30-3:45 TTH

Distribution I course




Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400) and his literary, cultural, and philosophical backgrounds. Readings will include short poems, a dream vision, select Canterbury Tales, and the Troilus. As well, film versions and adaptations of The Canterbury Tales will be available.


Note: Graduate students can sign up for this course as an English Department Graduate Directed Reading.



Geoffrey Chaucer, The Riverside Chaucer, ed. Larry D. Benson, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1988), pb. 0192821091 Used $34.00 (amazon.com) PR1851 .B46 1987

Cassette Recording, The General Prologue, by Paul Thomas (Provo: The Chaucer Studio, 1994). 

Robert P. Miller, ed. Chaucer: Sources and Background (Oxford, 1977), pb., 0195021673 $29.95 PR1912 .A2 C48

Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, trans. V.E. Watts (Penguin), pb. $11.16 0140447806 B659.C2 E59 1969

Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, trans. Nevill Coghill (Penguin, rpt. 1995) $9.95   0140442391PR1870 .A1 C63 1977


FILMS (ON RESERVE at Fondren; digital streaming at Language Resource Center):

Pier Paolo Pasolini, dir., The Canterbury Tales, 1971  (English subtitles available); DVD PN1997 .C368   2003 (106 mins.)

BBC Canterbury Tales (Miller¡¯s Tale, Wife of Bath¡¯s Tale, Knight¡¯s Tale, Captain¡¯s Tale, Pardoner¡¯s Tale, Man of Law¡¯s Tale), 2004; DVD & VHS PN1997.2 .C267 2004 (338 minutes total) PN1997.2 .C2678 2004 v. 1-3 (VHS)

Danny Boyle, dir., A Shallow Grave, 1995; DVD (94 mins.) Screenplay: http://inflow.corky.net/scripts/shallowGrave.html -



Tu Aug. 29   Introduction: See Pasolini¡¯s Canterbury Tales (possibly 4-6 p.m.)

Th Aug. 31   Chaucer's Short Poems: ¡°To Rosemounde¡±


Tu Sept. 5  "Gentilesse," "Truth"

Th Sept. 7  "Complaint to His Purse"                                      Short Paper #1 Due


Tu Sept. 12  Book of the Duchess

                   Read Macrobius, from the Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, in Miller, pp. 44-52

Th Sept. 14  Read Ovid, ¡°Ceyx and Alcyone,¡± from the Metamorphoses, in Miller, pp. 106-12

                 And Andreas Capellanus, from The Treatise on Love, ¡°Distinctions concerning Love¡± and ¡°The Rules of Love,¡± in Miller, pp. 291-99


Tu Sept. 19 General Prologue to the CT: Introduction and Retraction to the Canterbury Tales

                  Listen to the General Prologue on tape

Th Sept. 21  The Knight: Read Geoffroi de Charny, from The Book of Chivalry: ¡°The Making of a Knight,¡± in Miller, pp. 166-68; R¨¢mon Lull, from The Book of the Order of Chivalry, on ¡°The Origins and Purpose of Chivalry,¡± and ¡°The Office of Knighthood,¡± in Miller, pp. 180-86

                 Film Showing: 4-5 p.m. BBC Canterbury Tales: Knight¡¯s Tale


Tu Sept. 26 The Monk, The Prioress, The Friar, The Clerk, The Parson

                 Read: Ovid, from The Art of Love, Advice to Women, in Miller, pp. 282-86

                 John Gower, from Vox Clamantis, on The Clergy, in Miller, pp. 215-228, 264-68

Th Sept. 28 The Wife of Bath, the Merchant, the Miller, the Reeve

                 Read Ovid, from Amores, on ¡°The Lover¡¯s Warfare,¡± in Miller, pp. 286-88

                 Film Showing: 4-5 BBC Canterbury Tales: Wife of Bath 


Tu Oct. 3 The Summoner, the Pardoner, the Host, and Chaucer the Pilgrim

Th Oct. 5                                                                                 Short Paper #2 Due

                 Film Showing: 4-5 BBC Canterbury Tales: Pardoner


Tu Oct. 10   Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, Books 1-3

Th Oct. 12 Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, Books 4-5

Fr  Oct. 13  Mid-term Exam due at 9 A.M. 


Tu Oct. 17 Mid-term break

Th Oct. 19 Knight¡¯s Tale, Part One

Read: Giovanni Boccaccio, from the Teseide, ¡°Emilia appears to Palemon and Arcita,¡± in Miller, pp. 323-28  


Tu Oct. 24 Knight¡¯s Tale, Part Two and Three

                  Read: Giovanni Boccaccio, from the Teseide, ¡°Arcita¡¯s Prayer to Mars,¡± ¡°Gloss:    The Temple of Mars,¡± ¡°Gloss: The Temple of Venus,¡± in Miller, pp. 329-43

Th Oct. 26 Knight¡¯s Tale, Part Four


Tu Oct. 31 Miller¡¯s Tale

Th Nov. 2 Reeve¡¯s Tale   

Tu Nov. 7 Wife of Bath's Prologue

                 Read: Bartholomaeus Anglicus, from The Properties of Things, on ¡°Husband and Wife,¡± in Miller, pp. 385-87; Miller, on ¡°The Antifeminist Tradition,¡± pp. 399-402, Theophrastus, from The Golden Book on  Marriage, in Miller, pp. 411-14; and St. Jerome, from The Epistle Against Jovinian, in Miller, pp. 415-36

Th Nov. 9 Wife of Bath's Tale 


Tu Nov. 14 Clerk's Tale                                                                          

                 Read Petrarch¡¯s Story of Griselda, in Miller, pp. 137-52           

Th Nov. 16 Franklin's Tale                                                  

Read Giovanni Boccaccio, from Il Filocolo, ¡°The Question of Menedon and Fiammetta¡¯s Opinion,¡± in Miller, pp. 121-35


Tu Nov. 21 Pardoner¡¯s Tale  Film Showing 4-6: Danny Boyle¡¯s A Shallow Grave             Short Paper #3 Due

Th Nov. 23 Thanksgiving Vacation 


Tu Nov. 28  Troilus and Criseyde, Book 1 (in translation)

Th Nov. 30  Troilus and Criseyde, Book 2 & 3


Tu Dec. 5  Troilus and Criseyde, Book 4 & 5

Th Dec. 7  Conclusions

Fr  Dec. 8   Exam on Second Part of the Course is Due: 9:00 A.M.




1. Several short (3-5 pp.) papers, any of which except the last can be revised for a possible higher grade

2. Take-home Honor Code-bound e-Midterm and Final Examinations


Papers: 50% of your grade; Exams: 50% of your grade. Participation enhances final grades.


Office Hours:


4-5 TTH 235 Herring Hall x2625 and by appointment. jchance@rice.edu


Website: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~jchance/chaucer3.htm