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Resources for further study.

General Resources: Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Ref PN 1021.n39); Middle English Dictionary (PE 679.M62); Oxford Companion to English Lit (PR19 .D73 1985b); and the comprehensive On-line Reference Book for Medieval Studies, for which click here. And here is a bibliography of medieval symbolism.

James Harner, Literary research guide : a guide to reference sources for the study of literatures in English and related topics. 4th Edition. (New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2002). Du Bois Library, Reference Z 2011 .H34 1993.

19.I.15. Midterm Paper/Project Topics. 5 to 7 pages.

  • POESIS: How physical aspects of a character are used to imply moral or emotional qualities. Take a look at Lord Shaftesbury's Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, and Times ( B 1385 .A2 1964), or at medieval paintings.
  • POESIS: The art of tone: by which means (which words or phrases) do medieval English poets establish tone? Look up "tone" in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Ref. PN 1021 .N39 1993). Then, consider shifts in tone.
  • POESIS/PATHOS: The effects of vocabulary and word-order on your appreciation of a poem.
  • POESIS/PATHOS: The use or non-use of landscape description. How does it change your sense of realism in poem? How does place affect a sense of character? (Irwin Panofsky has written brilliantly on this, as has Erich Auerbach.)
  • MIMESIS: The theme of confrontation: Who owes what to whom? How do you start a fight? How do you end one?
  • MIMESIS: The theme of antiquity: why is the past important in the poems?
  • MIMESIS: The theme of trade: exchange is central to Western culture. How do medieval poets portray exchange--favor for favor, treasure for deed, fame for death, eye for an eye, etc.?


  • DOCUMENTARY: Write, stage, and produce a 2- to 3- minute documentary on an aspect of a medieval poem.
  • E-DITION: produce an on-line edition of a short section of Gawain (or Lanval) using in-line pictures, illustrations, animations, or other digital resources which will help readers to understand its MIMESIS (how it mimics something in its world and time). Explain your thinking in a screen-length text.

19.I.15. Final Paper/Project Topics. 1500 words or so. Please make an outline first. Then, draft paragraphs to fit into your outline. Then, combine all the pieces into a big essay. Do not draft your paper from start to finish or you will end up with a vague and sloppy opening, a repetitive middle, and a conclusion that ignores your thesis.

1. TBA