English 111 - Winter, 2023

Medieval Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Vernon, Matthew
Time: TR 12:10-1:30
GE Areas: World Cultures Writing Experience


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.


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Armitage
Beowulf, Bilingual Edition, Heaney (Translator)
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Mandeville (Moseley-Translator)
Othello (Arden Shakespeare), Shakespeare
The History of the Kings of Britain, Monmouth (Thorpe-Tanslator)
Egil's Saga, Scudder (Translator)
Short packet of reading or online reading