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Courses:
English 359
Beowulf
Spring 2006
MWF 1:20 - 2:10
6110 H.C. White

General Description

Requirements

Prerequisites

Contact

Texts

Tentative Schedule


General Description

An intensive study of Beowulf in the original language. Line-by-line translation of the text will be supplemented by discussion of related issues (whether linguistic, thematic, or contextual) as well as by readings in the critical literature relating to the poem.

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Requirements

Regular attendance, preparation, and participation in class; an oral report (with written prelude and follow-up); a take-home paper 6- 8 pages in length; a midterm exam covering translation and grammatical comprehension; a final exam covering translation and overall comprehension.

Attendance, quality of daily translation, consistency of preparedness, and general participation will count 50% toward the final grade. The midterm will count 10%, the term paper 20%, and the final exam 20%.

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Prerequisites

English 320 (Introduction to Old English) or equivalent.

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Contact

Office: 6131 White Hall
Office hours: T 1:30 - 2:30 pm, W 2:30 - 3: 30 pm
, and by appt.
(608) 265-9836
jdniles@wisc.edu

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Texts (with short titles)

Main texts

F. Klaeber, Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, 3rd ed. (Heath).

Peter S. Baker, ed., Beowulf: Basic Readings (Garland).

Ancillary Texts

Robert E. Bjork and John D. Niles, ed., A Beowulf Handbook (Univ. of Nebraska Press).

R.M. Liuzza, Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Broadview).

In addition, some articles have been made available through the Library's Electronic Reserves (ER).

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Tentative Schedule

Jan 18-20: Lines 1-52; Handbook ch. 1, “Introduction.”

Jan 23 - 27: 53-188; Handbook ch. 2, “Date, Provenance, Author, Audiences”;
Baker: Liuzza, “On the Dating” (pp. 281-302).

Jan 30 - Feb 3: 189-332; Handbook ch. 5, “Diction, Variation, the Formula.”  Cf. chs. 4, “Prosody,” and 6, “Rhetoric and Style.”  Baker: Greenfield, “Authenticating Voice.”

Feb. 6 - 10: 333-490; Handbook ch. 8, “Structure and Unity”; Cf. ch. 10, “Digressions and Episodes.” Baker: Clover, “Unferū Episode.”

Feb 13 - 17: 491-641; Handbook ch. 9, “Christian and Pagan Elements.”  Cf. ch. 12, “Symbolism and Allegory.”  Baker: Benson, “Pagan Coloring” (pp. 35-50).

Feb 20 - 24: 642-790; Handbook ch. 11, “Myth and History.”  Baker: Osborn, “Great Feud.”

Feb 27 - Mar 3: 791-942a; Handbook ch. 13, “Social Milieu.”  Baker: John: “Margins of Literacy.”

Mar 6 - 10: 942b-1094; Handbook ch. 14, “The Hero and the Theme.”  Chase, “Hero’s Pride.”

Mar 11 - 19: SPRING BREAK.

Mar 20 - 24: 1095-1250; Handbook chs. 16, “Gender Roles, and 17, “Beowulf and Contemporary Critical Theory.”  Baker: Overing, “Women.”

Mar 27 - 31: 1251-1398; Handbook ch. 7, “Sources and Analogues”; Baker: Frank, “Skaldic Verse.”  ONE-PAGE PROSPECTUS FOR TAKE-HOME PAPER DUE FRI. MARCH 31.

Apr 3 - 7: 1399-1556; Handbook ch. 15, “Beowulf and Archaeology”; Baker: Robinson, “Elements of the Marvellous.”  ER: Tolkien, "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics."

Apr 10 - 14: 1557-1699; Handbook ch. 3, “Textual Criticism.”  ER: Niles: "Reconceiving Beowulf."

Apr. 17 - 21: 1700-1798, 1866-1924;Handbook ch. 18, “Translations, Versions, Illustrations.”  ER: Niles, "Rewriting Beowulf." TERM PAPERS DUE at the beginning of class F April 21.

Apr 24 - 28: 2510-65, 2631-68, 2694-2711a, 2792b-2820, 2999-3027, 3137-82.

May 1 - 5: REVIEW WEEK; NO CLASS MAY 5.

F MAY 12: FINAL EXAMINATION, 7:45 a.m., place to be announced.

 

 

 

 

 
 

UW-Madison

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Updated: 08-Jan-2003