From Hastinapur to Canterbury: Textualizing the Frame Narrative

Author: Lori Mehler

School/Organization:

Randolph Career Academy

Year: 2011

Seminar: Children's Literature

Grade Level: 11-12

Keywords: English, medieval, narrative

School Subject(s): English

The frame narrative is a medieval literary genre that makes use of a connecting narrative “frame” to unite diverse short stories, folktales, or fables. The entertaining, narrative approach of the various stories is usually combined with a didactic orientation in the overall narrative framework, creating an artistic wholeness.  The sources for the frame story can be discovered in the narrative literature and folklore of the ancient East and of European antiquity.

The purpose of this unit is to examine the roots of this genre through interpretation of selected stories and evaluation of universal themes.  It is anticipated that unearthing the deeper historical and sociological motivations for the stories themselves will lend itself as a constructivist pedagogical tool for educators wishing to integrate an organic and timeless element into their senior year English curriculum.

Download Unit: 11.01.08.pdf

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