FRE 318H1 (Not offered in 2019-2020)

Medieval French Literature




A discovery of French medieval literature through the theme of travel. The topic of travel will be the leading idea in our interpretation of representative texts from different genres, such as the heroic world of the chansons de geste, the ribald and burlesque houmour of the animal epic and the fabliaux, the subtleties of courtly lyric, and the wonders of Arthurian romance. Selected texts will be studied in bilingual versions. No previous knowledge of Old French is needed.

During the first half of the course, we will read and interpret a selection of extracts and shorter texts, as well as Le Voyage de saint Brendan. The second half will be dedicated to the discussion of two texts, which the students must read (in translation) by the 6th and the 8th week of term respectively (reading will be checked via tests) : Chrétien de Troyes, Érec et Énide, the first known Arthurian romance, and extracts from Marco Polo, Le Devisement du monde.

Required texts:

Le Voyage de saint Brendan, éd./trad. Ian Short et Brian Merrilees, Paris: Champion, 2006; Chrétien de Troyes, Erec et Enide, éd. Jean-Marie Fritz, Paris: Le Livre de Poche 1992 (Lettres gothiques); Marco Polo, Le Devisement du monde, éd./trad. Pierre-Yves Badel, Paris, Le Livre de Poche 1998 (Lettres gothiques).

Students will also be required to purchase a course pack with extracts from other texts (Instructor will provide further information).

Assignments and evaluation:

One take-home test (essay questions, 30 %), one take-home essay (40 %), two tests (10 % each), participation (10 %). Students will sometimes be required to read extracts from secondary literature between one session and the next.

The Department takes into account the quality of students' French as one of the criteria in the evaluation of assignments and examinations. A minimum of 20% of the grade will be allocated to this aspect of written assignments.


FRE 240H1/FRE 245H1

Recommended preparation:

FRE 241H1/FRE 246H1