ENGL379T - Special Topics in Literature: Folklore, Themes and Archetypes in Literature

This course is an intense look at the idea of folklore and its role as progenitor and continuing stimulus to Literature. For background. we will review the principles of such topics as myth, legend, modern urban myths, folktale, folksong, folkdance, joke cycles, proverbs, placenames, themes and archetypes in lit, ethnography, etiology, eschatology, and lots of homage to Sir James George Frazer and the Brothers Grimm.  Literary texts suffused with folklore that may be included are medieval drama, The Gesta Romanorium, The Mabinogian, plays such as Macbeth and Bartholomew Fair, Chaucer, Gothick novels, the novels of Marina Carter, T.S. Eliot, and the Irish plays of Colin MacPherson.   Forty pages of papers (including a literary study of 10 pages; and a ethnographic interview about the beliefs of a recent immigrant to America), three exams, and (perhaps) attendance at a play in D.C. are required.


Two English courses in literature or permission of the department.