English 210: Medieval and Early Modern Literature: 400 to 1600
The course will provide a lively and wide-ranging introduction to the literature of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Periods, an introduction which will attempt to place texts remote from the modern age in their social and historical contexts. Students will read, discuss, and analyze some of the best-known poems of the Old and Middle English periods (including Beowulf), as well as a selection of lesser-known Old English poems; medieval romance literature, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The discussion of Early Modern texts will be supported by discussion of the reception of the main course texts by 16th-century authors, from Wyatt to Spenser and Shakespeare. There will be a mid-term, a second exam in Week Nine of the course (but, however, no Final during Finals Week), a major term paper, and opportunities to produce additional shorter papers for Extra Credit.
Hamer, Richard, A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse, 2nd ed. (Faber, 2015)
Heaney, Seamus, trans., Beowulf: A New Verse Trans. (dual-lang. ed.) (Norton, 2001)
Winny, James trans., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Broadview, 1882)
Beidler, Peter. Chaucer: Canterbury Tales, rev. ed. (Bantam, 2006)
Early Modern Texts of the Sixteenth Century (Handouts)