Old English III: Reading Beowulf B

English, School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

College of Arts and Law


Code 13199

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 10

Semester 2

Module description

This module offers the opportunity to make a detailed study of the Anglo Saxon epic poem Beowulf and its textual and cultural contexts. Students will improve a reading knowledge of Old English to a level at which they can read widely in the original language and pursue an extended project on Old English Writing. In Semester one students will focus on reading Beowulf, making detailed study of selected passages in seminars. In semester two students will be given opportunities to explore ways of making meaning of the poem from a variety of perspectives; topics that students will be invited to consider might include, for example, orality and literacy; functions of poetry in traditional societies; language and the formation of social and cultural identities; and the politics of editin, translating, reading and rewriting 'Beowulf' a millenium after the sole surviving manuscript was made. Students will be invited to consider Beowulf in relation to other Old English texts not previously studied and in relation to texts studied at levels at 1 & 2.