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Module

SEL2219 : Monsters, Misery & Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Aditi Nafde
  • Lecturer: Dr Adam Mearns
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module introduces students to the poetry of the early middle ages in its original language, thereby allowing them to study the very beginnings of literature in English. Old English poetry covers a wide range of genres, including wisdom literature, religious verse, heroic and elegiac poetry, and innuendo-laden riddles. The module will explore literature that negotiates between the Germanic, heroic, Christian, and quotidian cultures that pervaded the age and were especially relevant to the North of England.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will focus on two main texts in their original language. It will start by examining a deeply moving poem about loss and loneliness, The Wanderer, followed by one of the greatest poems about heroes and monsters, Beowulf. Students will 'slow read' these text by creating their own translations of the original Old English. They will gain an understanding of the key features of the language and its poetics and, in doing so, will have the opportunity to examine and reflect on their own poetic impulses. Students will also situate these texts in their literary contexts by reading a wider range of other Old English poetry in translation, as well as reflect on the place of Old English literature today.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable