Medieval French Literature


Students are expected to:
1. Read French medieval literary works and understand the main features of French medieval literature ;
2. Analyse representative works of the main medieval genres;
3. Understand historical and cultural contexts of medieval texts as well as their main hermeneutical issues;
4. understand poetical and rhetorical aspects of the texts of the syllabus;
5. understand how codes and values are relevant in the organization of a new poetic system;
6. become skilled in the analysis of poetic aspects and imaginary contexts of medieval works. 

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Paiva Morais


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


Boutet, D. (1991).  Formes littéraires et conscience historique. Paris: PUF.
——— (2003). Histoire de la littérature française du Moyen Âge. Paris: Honoré Champion, Unichamp-Essentiel. 
Cerquiglini-Toulet, J., Lestrignant, F., Forestier, G. et Bury, E. (2007). La littérature française: dynamique & histoire, vol. I. Gallimard: Folio, essais, pp. 47-109.
Akehurst, F.R.P. and Davis,  J. M., eds. (1995). A Handbook of the Troubadours. Berkeley-Los Angeles-London: California University Press. 
James-Raoul, D. (2007). Chrétien de Troyes, la griffe d’un style, Paris: Champion, «Nouvelle Bibliothèque du Moyen Âge ».
Le Goff, J. (1991). L´Imaginaire médiéval. Paris: Gallimard, Bibliothèque des  Histoires.
Walter, P.  (1990).  Le gant de verre. Le Mythe de Tristan et Iseut. La Gacilly: Artus. 
Whalen, L. E. (2008). Marie de France and the Poetics of Memory. Washington: The Catholic University of America Press. 

Teaching method

1. Lectures on the main items on the syllabus focusing on cultural and literary aspects of the texts in the syllabus; regular use of appropriate web resources shall be encouraged and the Moddle platform will be a used as a main tool for individual and collective work;   
2. Critical supervised discussion in the classroom of the texts in the syllabus;
3. Individual tutorial supervision of oral and written work. 
Seminars: 60%, lectures: 40%
In class teaching.

Evaluation method

Método de avaliação - 1. Participation in classroom discussions of topics of the syllabus(20%), 2. One written classroom assignment(40%), 3. written essay to be discussed in class(40%)

Subject matter

1.Literature as value: 
1.1.Chivalry Codes in the Chanson de Geste - Chanson de Roland;
1.2.The Rules of Love:
- Troubadour Poetry – Guillaume de Poitiers, Jaufré Rudel, Marcabru, Bernard de Ventadour; - The Arts of Love – Traité de l ́Amour Courtois, André Le Chapelain;
2.Image and Value – Love and imagination: 
2.1. Arthurian romance – Chrétien de Troyes, Le Conte du Graal; 
2.2.Dichotomies of Love – Béroul, Le Roman de Tristan;
2.3. love and image - the Lai de Narcisse
3.Subverting and Confirming Codes: 
3.1. Parody in comic and obscene texts – os fabliaux
4. Exemplarity and allegory – the fables of Marie de France.