French (FREN) 358

Initiation à la littérature d'expression française I (Revision 2)

FREN 358 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: FREN 362 (or equivalent course), or professor approval.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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Overview (Vue d’ensemble)

FREN 358 is designed for students who have a reasonably good mastery of French grammar and French written expression, and who wish to study French literature in a cultural context. In FRENCH 358, you will acquire a basic knowledge of French texts that are important in French literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the 18th century.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain what is meant by the word littérature.
  • Distinguish among the various genres: le roman, le conte/la nouvelle, le théâtre, and la poésie.
  • Scan lines of poetry in French and identify stylistic devices such as la métaphore, la comparaison, l’enjambement, l’anaphore, etc.
  • Discuss elements of l’amour courtois (courtly love) in Le lai du laustic.
  • Discuss elements of la poésie lyrique in two ballads by François Villon.
  • Describe the Renaissance world view in the writings of Rabelais, Du Bellay, and Ronsard.
  • Analyze a few fables by La Fontaine and a play by Molière.
  • Discuss elements of satire in a conte by Voltaire.

Outline (Structure du cours)

Module 1 : Introduction

  • Leçon 1 : Qu’est-ce que la littérature ?
  • Leçon 2 : Les genres littéraires
  • Leçon 3 : La versification française

Module 2 : Le moyen âge

  • Leçon 4 : Le moyen âge – généralités
  • Leçon 5 : Marie de France
  • Leçon 6 : François Villon

Module 3 : La Renaissance

  • Leçon 7 : La Renaissance
  • Leçon 8 : Rabelais et « L’abbaye de Thélème »
  • Leçon 9 : Joachim du Bellay
  • Leçon 10 : Pierre de Ronsard

Module 4 : Le 17e siècle – le Grand Siècle

  • Leçon 11 : Le 17e siècle – généralités
  • Leçon 12 : Jean de La Fontaine – fabuliste
  • Leçon 13 : Molière – biographie et les premiers actes de L’Avare
  • Leçon 14 : L’Avare – actes III, IV, et V
  • Leçon 15 : L’Avare – discussion

Module 5 : Le 18e siècle – le Siècle des Lumières

  • Leçon 16 : Le Siècle des Lumières (1715–1789)
  • Leçon 17 : Voltaire et « Histoire d’un bon bramin »


To receive credit for this course, you must achieve a minimum of 50 percent on the written examination and a minimum composite grade of D (50 percent) for the course. The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Devoir No. 1 10%
Devoir No. 2 10%
Devoir No. 3 15%
Devoir No. 4 15%
Final Written Exam 50%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials (Matériel du cours)

Hirsch, Bette G., and Chantal P. Thompson. Moments Littéraires: An Anthology for Intermediate French. 2nd ed., Heinle, Cengage Learning, 2006.

Molière. L’Avare. Beauchemin, 2000.

All other course materials, including a Course Information and a Study Guide, are available online through the course home page.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

View previous revision

Opened in Revision 2, June 11, 2021.