Elle97
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Hey guys!

I've just finished my second year at Durham doing English lit, and I have one more exam to do in August because I was ill over the exam period and wasn't able to do it. It's Chaucer, and because of the way my results came out, I need a 68 in Chaucer to get a first! I really want to apply to Oxbridge for my PGCE this year as well as Durham again, and having a first class under my belt for second and first year would be really helpful, but I'm so bad at Chaucer. I'm normally on like 64 ish.

Has anyone here ever done Chaucer at uni? Can someone give me a hand or some advice?

Thanks!
0
reply
auburnstar
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
(Original post by Elle97)
Hey guys!

Has anyone here ever done Chaucer at uni? Can someone give me a hand or some advice?

Thanks!
Ok well, I am a little out of my depth here because I have not done it at uni *however* I do love Chaucer so hopefully I can help there.

Do you have any specific areas of Chaucer that you struggle with? Language barrier? Or is it more a case of specific critical/literary arguments applied to Chaucer?
0
reply
Elle97
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#3
(Original post by auburnstar)
Ok well, I am a little out of my depth here because I have not done it at uni *however* I do love Chaucer so hopefully I can help there.

Do you have any specific areas of Chaucer that you struggle with? Language barrier? Or is it more a case of specific critical/literary arguments applied to Chaucer?
Hi! Thank you so much! Well I've had some feedback on a few essays I've done from last year and this year and its mainly as follows:

'On the Knight’s Tale. Works hard to develop an argument and address a wide range of different angles on the text. Often seems vague/undigested (e.g. classical Greece as “a period of great philosophy”), lacks precision. Some uncertainty about the meaning of key terms (e.g. “medievalism”). Overall, could have been more focussed / specific"'On the Franklin’s Tale. An energetic but superficial reading of the Fr T (apparently failing to grasp – or being indifferent to – most of the issues the text raises). Arv. is “patriarchal”; “Wife of Bath” is “proto-feminist”; C. S. Lewis is quoted as reliable authority (from 1936!); Arv. and Aur. have “unquenchable sexual desires.” Reductive / simplistic.' So it just seems like I'm not fully grasping the nuances in the texts. I think its partly because I'm dyslexic and I struggle reading it!
0
reply
auburnstar
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 years ago
#4
(Original post by Elle97)
Hi! Thank you so much! Well I've had some feedback on a few essays I've done from last year and this year and its mainly as follows:

'On the Knight’s Tale. Works hard to develop an argument and address a wide range of different angles on the text. Often seems vague/undigested (e.g. classical Greece as “a period of great philosophy”), lacks precision. Some uncertainty about the meaning of key terms (e.g. “medievalism”). Overall, could have been more focussed / specific"'On the Franklin’s Tale. An energetic but superficial reading of the Fr T (apparently failing to grasp – or being indifferent to – most of the issues the text raises). Arv. is “patriarchal”; “Wife of Bath” is “proto-feminist”; C. S. Lewis is quoted as reliable authority (from 1936!); Arv. and Aur. have “unquenchable sexual desires.” Reductive / simplistic.' So it just seems like I'm not fully grasping the nuances in the texts. I think its partly because I'm dyslexic and I struggle reading it!
Ahh ok so it's not so much argument (apart from using C.S. Lewis) as it is depth and understanding.

I think the point of 'grasping the issues of the text' is really important but it's understandable to have issues with this with Chaucer, given how "outdated" the language seems in our eyes. I'm assuming you've read the relevant Tales and seen the Harvard Interlinear translation which puts it into "plain English" (particularly useful for Wife of Bath)? Certainly, if the language is the issue then translators really help to crystallise the key ideas expressed.

What might be useful is to try and look at it in really simple terms and then build up an essay from that (simplistic -> in-depth) because the understanding is the groundwork. So for example, to look at part of one of the tales with the translation and just jot down very simple ideas like "anti-feminism", narrative voice, patriarchy etc with definitions and the basic sequence of events. Then once you understand the underlying themes Chaucer is presenting you can expand outwards to include context if relevant and critical evaluations. Doing it the other way around, especially with a less accessible text like Chaucer just makes the process far trickier.

Without seeing the specific essay it's harder to tell and also my degree isn't English literature, but hopefully this helps to get an idea of a (possible) approach.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What support do you need with your UCAS application?

I need help researching unis (3)
9.09%
I need help researching courses (2)
6.06%
I need help with filling out the application form (3)
9.09%
I need help with my personal statement (15)
45.45%
I need help with understanding how to make my application stand out (7)
21.21%
I need help with something else (let us know in the thread!) (1)
3.03%
I'm feeling confident about my application and don't need any help at the moment (2)
6.06%

Watched Threads

View All