A companion website to Boston College ENGL3393: Chaucer. It may also be used as a general introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer’s poetry. The special areas of focus throughout this website are localization and imagined spaces. The site includes map tours of Chaucer’s life, the frame narrative of the Canterbury Tales, and individual tales. Some pages include a selective bibliography.
Geoffrey Chaucer was the first poet writing in English who was lauded and studied as literature in his own time. His body of writing, covering a breathtakingly wide range of subjects, is a subtle mix of satire and the sublime. This course is an introduction to Chaucer’s poetry, including but not limited to his masterpiece, the Canterbury Tales. It is also an introduction to the Middle English language. The course is structured around the different genres and literary forms invented or reinterpreted by Chaucer, from tales of courtly love to fabliaux (fables) and dream visions. No prior knowledge of Middle English required.