The popularity of George R.R. Martin's fantasy saga A Song of Ice and Fire and its Emmy-winning HBO adaptation Game of Thrones shows us that major themes from medieval stories still resonate with audiences, even hundreds of years after their composition. Why is this? This course will examine major epic and romance texts of the Middle Ages, such as Beowulf, the Song of Roland, and the Death of King Arthur. We will aim to understand the rich literary tradition that has led to our modern interest in dragons, damsels, knights, heroes, monsters, magic, murder, and so forth. We will particularly focus on how medieval literature can guide us to a richer understanding of our own interests, desires, and fears: of who we are.
This course is taught in English, and has been approved for the Arts and Sciences core curriculum.