From Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to commedia dell’arte to the ‘modern medieval’, revisit or discover writers and books that shaped English language and literature, through expert talks and lively classroom discussion.
Inspired by the 'Arabian Nights', Boccaccio created the first Italian novel. He also went beyond Christian morality and contemporary canons to portray an extraordinary variety of themes, characters and settings. Includes scenes from Pasolini's eponymous film.
Focusing on some key tales, we look at the early manuscripts, consider Chaucer's use of language and imagery, and explore themes that run through the Tales: corruption, religion, gender, and status in medieval society.
Commedia dell’Arte originated in Italy in the 16th century, establishing a lasting legacy on many playwrights. Discover more about its characters, themes and how the plays were staged. We will also read from two of Carlo Goldoni’s most famous works: Servant of Two Masters and The Mistress of the Inn.
Explore the origins and development of the English language in the manuscript age by engaging with its literature, from the earliest known works of the Anglo-Saxons to Caxton and the beginning of the printed word.
Simon Armitage has made translations of two significant Middle English poems, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Alliterative Morte Arthur. We will consider the way he interprets the style and language of the originals in his innovative retellings.
How have writers in the modern period represented medieval times? We will look at authors who have been influenced and inspired by the literature and culture of the medieval period, including the Norse myths and sagas and the diversity of medieval English poetry.
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