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FREN 348 French Literature from the Middle Ages to the Revolution (in English)

A study of French literature through reading and analysis of translated works.

This course is eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. To determine whether you can take this course for Credit/D/Fail grading, visit the Credit/D/Fail website. You must register in the course before you can select the Credit/D/Fail grading option.

Credits: 3

Pre-reqs: (Second year standing or higher. 6 credits of English, or completion of the Arts Writing requirement, recommended.)


Status Section Activity Term Interval Days Start Time End Time Comments
FREN 348 201Lecture2 Mon Wed Fri10:0011:00

- cross-listed with MDVL 301-001


Arthur vs. Charlemagne: the Matter of Britain and the Matter of France in Medieval French Literature


Medieval fiction is fond of expansive narrative Matters, shared universes that find their inspiration in the legendary past and are built collaboratively over decades or even centuries. But a Matter is not just a set of characters, themes and subjects: it also has ideological and aesthetic implications. The Matter of France, built around the semi-mythical exploits of Charlemagne and his warriors in their defence of the Christian faith, and the Matter of Britain, which focuses on Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table and their adventures, are two of the most popular representatives of this literary practice in the French-speaking world. They manifest themselves in different genres: chanson de geste on one hand and roman (romance) on the other. The romances of Chr├ętien de Troyes will fo and ~

rm the basis of our study of the Matter of Britain (mainly The Knight of the Cart and The Story of the Grail). We will study the Matter of France through its most famous representative, the Song of Roland, as well as another lesser known song, the Voyage de Charlemagne. Through the study of representative works of these two Matters, we will see how aesthetic decisions and ideological choices go hand in hand, constructing narratives that express the contradictions and aspirations of 11th to 13th century medieval society.