British Literature: Heroes, Monsters, Faeries, and Kings

Posted on April 27, 2018 by Deb Holman

This course presents a selection of works from British literature, spanning from its origins through the 20th century. Beginning with the earliest written work of British Literature, Beowulf, students will read an illustrated translation of this epic poem whose hero becomes a king by defeating a family of dreadful monsters. King Arthur and the Arthurian legends will be explored in The Once and Future King, by T.H. White. The second semester brings a comic confusion of magical creatures—faeries, monsters, kings, and heroes—cavorting in Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students then move forward in time to the 19th century to explore the Hero as a child in David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens. A study of Victorian poems will be followed by a selection of English short stories, where students will need to look more carefully to discover the magical creatures, heroes, and monsters within. Written assignments include interpretive essays, creative stories, and projects.

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