ENGL377 - Medieval Myth and Modern Narrative

What is "medieval"? What is "modern"? How are they different? How do we know? This course explores patterns, motifs and configurations characteristic of medieval myth and epic, and their re-occurrence and transformation in modern works. We will analyze medieval works such as the Prose Edda, Beowulf, The Battle of Maldon, and consider similarities to and divergences from such modern works as John Gardner's Grendel and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth and The Lord of the Rings. Lecture combined with class discussion. Requirements include participation, quizzes, a mid-term, a paper of moderate length (8-10 pp.), and a 2-hour final.