Beginnings of English Literature

Module code: EN2030

English Literature begins with Beowulf and the 400 or so other texts written by the Anglo-Saxons, including poems and saints’ lives, chronicles, histories, translations and laws. These texts influenced writers like Seamus Heaney and Ezra Pound, William Morris and J. R. R. Tolkien.  This module introduces you to the literature of the Anglo-Saxons and its historical and cultural contexts. Specifically, it will enhance your literary skills, building on work completed during your first year and introduce you to a multi-disciplinary approach to literature. This module will invite you to consider theoretical issues such as gender and genre. A range of texts in translation studied closely include, Beowulf, riddles, elegies, saints’ lives, war poetry and historical narratives. They will be considered in relation to themes, such as: 

  • History and its (Re)writing
  • Monsters and Magic
  • Women and Men
  • Apocalypse
  • Vikings
  • Heroes and Saints
  • Mystery and Enigma
  • Genre
  • Anglo-Saxon Afterlives