ENGL 4612: Old English I

3 Credits

\"I am learning Anglo-Saxon and it is a vastly superior thing to what we have now\" (Gerard Manley Hopkins, letter to fellow poet Robert Bridges, 1882). This course is an introduction to the rich language and literature of Anglo-Saxon England (ca. 500-1100). \"Old English,\" or as it is sometimes known, \"Anglo-Saxon,\" is the earliest form of the English language; therefore, the primary course goal will be to acquire the ability to read Old English texts in the original. No previous experience with Old English or any other language is necessary or expected; undergraduates and graduate students from all departments are welcome. For graduate students in English, Old English I may count for the rhetoric/language/literacy distribution area. This course also fulfills the literary theory/linguistic requirement for the undergraduate English major. A knowledge of Old English will allow you to touch the most ancient literary sensibilities in the English tradition; these sensibilities are familiar and strange at the same time, as we sense our deep cultural connection to these texts across the centuries, yet also find that the past is a strange place indeed. The power of Old English literature has profoundly influenced authors such as Tennyson, Pound, Graves, Wilbur, Hopkins, Gunn, Auden, Seamus Heaney, C.S. Lewis, and of course, J.R.R. Tolkien.

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B+ Average (3.470)Most Common: A (37%)

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82 students
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    Effort
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