FR305-The Legend of Tristan and Iseult

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10ECTS credits]
Level: 6
Terms in which taught:
Module Convenor: Dr C L?glu
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2011/2


The aims of the module are to:
-develop students' experience and understanding of Old French literature;
-introduce and examine the role of patronage, the rise of courtly love and the cultural importance of chivalry, feudalism, and marriage;
-develop an understanding of the modern reception of medieval literature.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module, students are able to:
-analyse literary texts in their social and cultural context
-read Old French with increasing confidence
-understand and explain the changing theories of love (medieval and modern)
-engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, or secondary materials
-organise and articulate a coherent written argument in a coursework essay and under timed examination conditions

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and pair/ group presentation skills, as well as enabling students develop their reading, analytical and interpretative skills in relation to literary French.

Outline content:
Detailed study of the surviving Old French Tristan texts.
Study of a film, L'?ternel retour, as an example of 20th-c. reception of the legend.

Set Text: Tristan et Iseut : Les po?mes fran?ais, la saga norroise, ed. and trans. Daniel Lacroix and Philippe Walter (Lettres gothiques) (Paris: Le Livre de Poche, 1989)

The module will cover the French and Anglo-Norman Tristan tradition through its surviving texts. Particular attention will be given to changing theories of love, and to the Tristan tradition's reflection of the complex social forces and cross-cultural exchanges in medieval society.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Weekly seminars on set topics. Classes will normally comprise: a brief recapitulation of the previous session's theme, 1 or 2 brief student presentations on specific areas, a discussion of those issues raised in the presentations, a summary of these, followed by an introduction to the next session's topic, including major themes to be covered. There will be a film viewing in Spring term. The course will be supported on Blackboard. A revision session will be offered in Summer.

Contact hours:

  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 2
Other contact (eg study visits)   2 (Film viewing)   
Total hours 10  10 
Number of essays or assignments     1 (+ 3 non-assessed pieces) 
Other (eg major seminar paper)      

Students will write one 3,000-word essay to be handed in on the Friday of the first week of the Summer term.

Relative percentage of coursework: 40%

Penalties for late submission
Ten marks (out of 100 on the normal University scale) will be deducted from a piece of work submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline or any formally agreed extension of that deadline. Once this period has elapsed, a mark of zero will be recorded.

One three-hour exam paper to consist of two questions

Requirements for a pass

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination in August/September. Coursework may be resubmitted by noon on the last Friday of August; otherwise the mark from the first attempt will be carried forward.

Last updated: 21 September 2011

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