ENGL 2237 Medieval Outlaws

ENGL 2237: Medieval Outlaws
Dr. Kathy Cawsey
Fall 2019

Course Description
This course will study the romantic outlaw of the Middle Ages - exemplified, of course, by Robin Hood - and consider the relationship of the outlaw of romance with the real situation of outlaws in medieval society. Alongside romances such as "The Geste of Robin Hood," "Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham," "The Wallace," and "The Lay of the Cid," we will explore the concept of 'the law' in medieval culture; actual medieval laws concerning outlawry; the geography of the medieval forest and its role as an extra-legal space; the Magna Carta; the Italian concept of the vendetta; and the biographies of real outlaw-poets such as Francois Villon or Elizabethan privateers such as Sir Francis Drake. We will end with a consideration of why modern society finds the idea of the outlaw so fascinating. This is an interdisciplinary course which will allow students to draw on skills and approaches from a broad range of disciplines.