This unit introduces students to the literatures of the peoples who lived in the British Isles in the Middle Ages (c. 500-1500). We will focus on the transformations of myth and legend in this period and study different medieval approaches to storytelling. In particular, we will explore how medieval writers imagined and re-imagined their societies in different cultural contexts. Starting with the Old English heroic poem Beowulf, students will read translations of early and late medieval poetry and prose. We will analyse medieval literature in society, intersections between history and the imagination, the treatment of gender roles and relations, and Christian influences on 'pagan' stories, among other issues.
2x1hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week
1x1000wd Close Reading Task (20%), 1x1500wd Research Essay (40%), 1x2000wd Take-Home Exercise (40%)