Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3208 Arthurian Legend: Chivalry and Violence

20 creditsClass Size: 20

For full module descriptions of our level 2 and 3 undergraduate modules (including details of preparatory reading, texts for purchase and required unassessed work) please see the Undergraduate Module Handbook in the English Organisation on the VLE.

Visiting and Exchange Students must read this information before selecting modules.

Module manager: Dr Catherine Batt
Email: c.j.batt@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B at 'A' Level in English Language or Literature (or equivalent) or an achieved mark of 56 or above in a Level 1 module in English (or its non-UK equivalent).

Please note: This module is restricted to Level 2 and 3 students. Enrolment priority will be given to Level 2 students for a restricted period (as detailed in the School’s Module Handbook).

This module is mutually exclusive with

ENGL32540Devel. of the Arthurian Legend

Module replaces

ENGL3218

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The thirteenth-century English writer Lawman confidently asserts that King Arthur is 'meat and drink' to poets, and this will be true 'as long as this world lasts'. This module concentrates on the work of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Welsh texts, and Chretien de Troyes (all in Modern English translation), and Malory (for this last author you will have support for reading fifteenth-century English) to chart something of how Arthurian story evolves from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries in continental Europe and in Britain. It looks at how these texts introduce, and reinterpret for their own times, motifs such as the formation of the Round Table, the quest for the Grail, the adultery of Lancelot and Guinevere, the treachery of Mordred and the ultimate tragic downfall of Arthur's Kingdom.Medieval historians argue vigorously over whether chivalry is a brutalizing or civilising force, a cynical means of oppression or the expression of the highest idealism. With this debate in mind, we shall investigate in particular the place of chivalry and violence in Arthurian narratives and ask how their representation reflects on relations between the sexes and on the legend's political and historical importance. In this context, we shall also study aspects of the development and representation of arms and armour. There will also be the opportunity to research how nineteenth- to twenty-first-century works, from novels and poetry to films, engage with the exhilarating, dynamic and troubling legacy of medieval Arthuriana to recreate Arthurs for our own age.

Objectives

By the end of the module, students will have:
- read important Arthurian texts from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, and considered their interrelation;
- developed an awareness of the historical contexts of Arthurian literature, and specifically of aspects of the ethical and ideological debates over chivalry that are of central concern to medieval Arthurian texts;
- considered how literary texts mediate cultural and historical concerns; understood different genres and their importance to interpretation;
- had the opportunity to undertake independent research into relations between medieval and modern Arthurian texts.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
- Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
- Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
- Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
- Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
- Critical reasoning.
- Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
- IT skills.
- Time management and organisational skills.
- Independent learning.


Syllabus

The thirteenth-century English writer Lawman confidently asserts that King Arthur is 'meat and drink' to poets, and this will be true 'as long as this world lasts'. This module concentrates on the work of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Welsh texts, and Chretien de Troyes (all in Modern English translation), and Malory (for this last author you will have support for reading fifteenth-century English) to chart something of how Arthurian story evolves from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries in continental Europe and in Britain. It looks at how these texts introduce, and reinterpret for their own times, motifs such as the formation of the Round Table, the quest for the Grail, the adultery of Lancelot and Guinevere, the treachery of Mordred and the ultimate tragic downfall of Arthur's Kingdom.

Medieval historians argue vigorously over whether chivalry is a brutalizing or civilising force, a cynical means of oppression or the expression of the highest idealism. With this debate in mind, we shall investigate in particular the place of chivalry and violence in Arthurian narratives and ask how their representation reflects on relations between the sexes and on the legend's political and historical importance. In this context, we shall also study aspects of the development and representation of arms and armour. There will also be the opportunity to research how nineteenth- to twenty-first-century works, from novels and poetry to films, engage with the exhilarating, dynamic and troubling legacy of medieval Arthuriana to recreate Arthurs for our own age.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Workshop11.001.00
Lectures41.004.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Teaching will be through 10 x 1 hour weekly seminars, plus a workshop at the Royal Armouries museum and four lectures.

Private Study: Reading, seminar preparation and essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Seminar contribution
- Feedback on assessed essay

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,700 words including quotations and footnotes33.30
Essay2,750 words including quotations and footnotes66.70
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

Disclaimer

Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019