Love and Sex in Old English Literature

Module code: EN3146

In this module you will explores attitudes to (and representations of) sex and sexuality in the early medieval period through an in-depth study of a diverse range of Old English literary texts and contexts.

Each weekly session will be based on one of a series of texts that will include translations of the Exeter Book riddles, Wulf and Eadwacer, and The Wife's Lament, parts of Beowulf, Genesis, the Phoenix, Aelfric's Lives of Saints and the anonymous Life of Euphrosyne, and Apollonius of Tyre. Extracts of texts from other literatures will be provided in class to give a comparative framework, and we will evaluate the use of aspects of gender and queer theory in analysing issues of medieval sex and sexuality. We will also consider the gender dynamics of some modern responses to Beowulf, including literary and film adaptations.

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