English 111 - Spring, 2015

Topics in Medieval Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Vernon, Matthew
Time: TR 9:00-10:20
Location: 106 Olson

Description

    The Monster Class of Monsters
    Monsters, the creatures that occupy the margins of the world and our psyches are often the symbols of a society’s anxieties and ambitions. From bestiaries to nightmarish mystical visions, no period of in English literature has paralleled the variety of monsters created in the Middle Ages. The monsters of medieval England demonstrate the breadth of medieval contact with the world beyond the island as well as longstanding fears of war and displacement. This class will survey medieval English literature and interrelated texts from other nations through some of the most noteworthy ghouls the Middle Ages has to offer – giants, dragons, anthropophagi, and a homicidal mother – to explore the issues of greatest concern within an evolving medieval English society. The course will cover many of the genres you will encounter in further study of medieval literature and is designed to introduce you to the types of questions explored within the field.

Texts

    Beowulf, Bilingual Edition, Heaney (Translator)
    Egil's Saga, Scudder (Translator)
    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Mandeville (Moseley-Translator)
    The History of the Kings of Britain, Monmouth (Thorpe-Tanslator)
    Short packet of reading or online reading
    Arthurian Romances, Chretien de Troyes
    Othello (Arden Shakespeare), Shakespeare
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Armitage
    Three Middle English Charlemagne Romances: The Sultan of Babylon, the Siege of Milan, and the Tale of Ralph the Collier, Lupack
    The History and Topography of Ireland, Gerald of Wales