Courses available in French

Courses

Le soleil est rare et le bonheur aussi l’amour s’Ă©gare au long de la vie.

— Gainsbourg

French 114: Late Medieval Literature — Love, Humor and Satire in an Age of War and Plague

Course Description:

The Black Plague, the Hundred Years’ War, serve as the gruesome backdrop for one of the richest periods of creation in the aristocratic tradition of courtly poetry and romance, extending from the mid-fourteenth to the late fifteenth century.  Were the light and frivolous fictions of love and seduction merely an escapist fantasy, a way of thinking of things other than death and disease, or is there a darker side to these fictions?  In the course of the semester, we will study lyric and narrative works by some of the best-known court authors of the period: Guillaume de Machaut, Christine de Pizan, Charles d’Orléans, Alain Chartier, and François Villon, as well as some anonymous works reflecting the growing importance of a bourgeois economic and literary sensibility: the satiric Quinze Joyes du mariage and the brilliant Farce de Maître Pierre Pathelin.  Class discussion and readings in French.  No previous knowledge of Medieval French is required or expected, though we will read some works in the original.

Prerequisites: 

French 102 or equivalent.

Additional information:

Knowledge of Old French not required; readings in modern French translation. This course satisfies 1 French Major course requirement in the “Literature” (112-120) category or 1 French Major course requirement in the Elective category. This course also satisfies 1 Historical Period Requirement in the French major. Priority enrollment for declared French majors.

Satisfies College of Letters and Science breadth in Arts and Literature.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes