A Social History of Chaucer's Pilgrims (classroom-based)

Ref: C3847030

Geoffrey Chaucer's most famous work the Canterbury Tales tells of a motley group to go on "pilgrimage" setting out from the Tabard Inn in London to the shrine at Canterbury Cathedral. The work provides a fascinating insight into life, society and belief systems in 14th Century England. Chaucer provides about 30 pen portraits of his pilgrims often with tongue in cheek. Then they each tell a story. Some are heroic, some downright rude and some are pious - and some are clearly better than others . This course will provide an opportunity to read the tales themselves (either in Middle English or Modern English) and to examine the sort of society which Chaucer presents.

Course aim

To examine Geoffrey Chaucer's great work the Canterbury Tales as both a work of literature and as a window into medieval society in the 14th century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Read and understand Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
  • Evaluate Chaucer's presentation of each of his characters in the Prologue
  • Critique the individual tales told by the pilgrims
  • Assess what the material tells us about life in the late 14th Century
  • Examine the lasting legacy of the Canterbury Tales

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Notes, Power Point and You Tube clips will be made available on Canvas. To get the most from the course you should try to get a copy of Chaucer such as the Penguin Edition of the Tales and to read up before each of the 10 sessions Alternatively the material is all accessible on the Internet

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

A Social History of Chaucer's Pilgrims (classroom-based)

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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