Fall 2020

Arthurian Literature

Listed in: English, as ENGL-117  |  European Studies, as EUST-117

Moodle site: Course


Ingrid L. Nelson (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL 117 and EUST 117) [Before 1800] Knights, monsters, quests, and true love: these are the things we associate with King Arthur and tales of his court. Why has Arthurian literature proved so enchanting to centuries of poets, novelists, and recently, filmmakers? In this introductory English course, we will read and watch Arthurian legends from Chaucer to Monty Python, examining the ways in which they have been represented in different eras. Beginning with the historical foundations of the King Arthur legend, we will examine how it blossomed and took form in later eras. Our focus will be on close literary and visual analysis of British, American, and French (in translation) versions of these legends. We will also discuss what cultural forces lie behind the popularity of Arthurian legend in certain eras: later medieval England and France; the Victorian era; and twentieth-century England and America. There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, as well as a final creative project.

Ten seats reserved for first-year students. Open to first-year students and sophomores. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Nelson.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to: 1. first-year students; 2. students with an intention of majoring in English or European Studies.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020, Spring 2022