Friday, January 27, 2012

Chaucer paper instructions

Select one of the following topics or propose one of your own for a paper of approximately 4 pages in length. Complete drafts are due in class, hard copy, Monday February 6 (class #13), with final copy due the following class. ( title "Chaucer 2012.")


1. Apply the considerations we gave to the Miller’s Tale, regarding the precise relationship between the tale and its teller, to the Pardoner’s Tale. If you choose this topic, I highly recommend that you consult only the Tale, the Prologue to the Tale, and the portrait of the Pardoner in the General Prologue. Using outside sources is likely to cause confusion and create problems of attribution.

2. Write a brief research paper on a topic relating to 14th century England, its religious practices, culture, or history. Make a clear connection between your topic and the Canterbury Tales. Be certain to incorporate scholarly sources along with popular internet sites.

3. Read a JStor article pertaining to Chaucer or the Tales. Write a critical summary of the article. What are its main points? How do they apply to the portions we read? How helpful are they in deepening your understanding of Chaucer?

4. Read The Nun’s Priest Tale, pp. 250-263 in our anthology. The editor suggests that “this simple beast fable [becomes] a delightful satire of learning and moralizing and . . . .pretentious rhetoric.” Referring to specific passages and aspects of the tale, show how this satiric tone is created. Like topic #1, this work is best and most safely done without reference to secondary sources.