A diversity of genres, styles, dialects and literary traditions may be explored. The topics you may study include:
- social satire;
- the Arthurian tradition and uses of the Arthurian myth;
- shifts in literary technique, genre and attitudes toward women;
- myths of social and literary decadence;
- ideas of society and the individual;
- high and low culture, spirituality and secularity;
- chivalry and the figure of the knight;
- literacy and education;
- art and architecture;
- magic and the supernatural;
- medieval Scotland and the Scottish Chaucerians.
If you complete the course successfully, you should now:
- Be able to describe a range of genres and conventions in medieval writing and deploy critical concepts appropriate to the period in response to such conventions.
- Be able to show some facility in reading texts in the original.
- Be able to recognise some ways in which the writings articulate the period’s social and cultural assumptions.
- Be able to discuss gender implications in the texts.
- Be able to reflect critically on how texts articulate relations between individual and society.
Among texts and authors which students may choose to study are:
- The Gawain poet
- The Breton lai
- Selected lyrics