School of English and Drama

Literatures in Time: Texts and Contexts from the Eighth to the Sixteenth Century

Module code: ESH110

Credits: 30.0
Semester: YEAR

  • Semester 1: Tuesday 10 am - 11 am
  • Semester 2: Tuesday 10 am - 11 am
  • Semester 1: Tuesday 11 am - 12 pm
  • Semester 1: Tuesday 12 pm - 1 pm
  • Semester 2: Tuesday 11 am - 12 pm
  • Semester 2: Tuesday 12 pm - 1 pm

Contact: Dr Alfred Hiatt
Overlap: None
Prerequisite: None

This module will introduce students to the foundations of English literature, from Beowulf to the love poetry of the Tudor court. It will give them a sense of the historical, political, social and literary developments over this long period, thoroughly contextualizing works within their cultural and intertextual fields. It will include eight centuries of writing in England, and some influential continental works in the French of England brought over by William the Conqueror. Many of these texts will be available in modern English translations, but students will also be given experience of reading and working with original forms of the varieties of Middle English which developed over the period. This period saw unceasing political and social upheaval, and new literary forms were constantly created and developed. The Middle Ages witnessed the reinvention of fiction as a narrative form; the development of poetry in all forms, from the epic verse to the love sonnet; the emergence of drama; the invention of printing, and the progressive use of writing as a political weapon available to all. It also saw the English language take shape, and English literature acquire an identity of its own. Over the year, this module will give students a growing understanding of the purposes and effects, conscious and unconscious, of literary production and development; and this understanding will be rooted in the historical moment.

Connected course(s): UDF DATA
Assessment: 50.0% Coursework, 50.0% Examination
Level: 4