Medieval Literature

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Module code


  • Level 3
  • Semester 1
  • 24 places
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 50% Examination 50%
  • Pre-1900 Century module. 


This module aims to introduce key texts (and their sources) of the Mediaeval period, familiarising you with the principal literary genres of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

We will address the ideological and historical tensions which dominate the period, and explore these tensions in relation to genre, gender relations, nationalism and networks of power, in particular the Church.

You will also gain a knowledge of a wide range of critical evaluations of, and approaches to, Mediaeval literature, including sources and manuscript studies and, experience first hand, early drama by staging a play of the period (participation optional).


Normally, students should have successfully completed both Level 2 English modules


Dr Jo George


This module is taught through three contact hours per week consisting of weekly two-hour lectures and weekly one-hour tutorials over 11 weeks.


This module is assessed as follows:

  • One essay of 3,000-3,500 words to be undertaken during module (50%)
  • One Open Book Examination of 3 hours (50%)


  • The Romance of the Rose, trans. (OUP)
  • The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World Classics)
  • Piers the Ploughman, trans. (Penguin Classics)
  • The Book of Margery Kempe, trans. (Penguin)
  • Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays (Dent)
  • Le Morte Darthur (Oxford World Classics)
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, parallel text edition (Broadview Press)

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