English Literature: Be as Informed as a Literature Graduate | Eve Williams | Skillshare

English Literature: Be as Informed as a Literature Graduate

Eve Williams, Music: Information and Inspiration

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66 Lessons (12h 29m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Reading English Literature

    • 3. Literary Devices

    • 4. Literary Criticism

    • 5. Old English

    • 6. The Dream of the Rood & the Ruthwell Cross

    • 7. Beowulf

    • 8. Wulf and Eadwacer

    • 9. Middle English Texts

    • 10. Geoffrey Chaucer

    • 11. Thomas Malory

    • 12. Sir Gawain and the Green Kinght

    • 13. Julian of Norwich

    • 14. Renaissance Literature

    • 15. Shakeapeare

    • 16. Christopher Marlowe

    • 17. Edmund Spenser

    • 18. John Milton

    • 19. The Novel and the Cult of Sensibility

    • 20. Samuel Richardson

    • 21. Jane Austen

    • 22. Matthew Gregory Lewis

    • 23. The Romantics and the Romantic Period

    • 24. William Wordsworth

    • 25. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    • 26. Percy Bysshe Shelley

    • 27. Lord Byron

    • 28. John Keats

    • 29. Victorian Literature

    • 30. Charles Dickens

    • 31. The Brontës

    • 32. George Eliot

    • 33. Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    • 34. Early 20th Century English Literature

    • 35. The War Poets

    • 36. Rudyard Kipling

    • 37. Modernism in England : The Bloomsbury Set

    • 38. Virginia Woolf

    • 39. E.M. Forster

    • 40. The Inklings

    • 41. Tolkien or Lewis Quiz

    • 42. A Short Note about George MacDonald

    • 43. J.R.R. Tolkien

    • 44. C.S. Lewis

    • 45. The Late Twentieth and Early Twenty First Century

    • 46. J.K. Rowling

    • 47. Mark Haddon

    • 48. Ian McEwan

    • 49. American Literature

    • 50. Harriet Beecher Stowe

    • 51. Mark Twain

    • 52. Louisa May Alcott

    • 53. F. Scott Fitzgerald

    • 54. Harper Lee

    • 55. William Faulkner

    • 56. Arthur Miller

    • 57. Other Noteworthy American Writers

    • 58. Irish Literature

    • 59. William Butler Yeats

    • 60. George Bernard Shaw

    • 61. Samuel Beckett

    • 62. James Joyce

    • 63. Seamus Heaney

    • 64. Other Noteworthy Irish Writers revised

    • 65. Other Noteworthy English Language Writers revised 2

    • 66. Conclusion

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About This Class

Do you want to discover the highlights of English literature and become well informed about some of the world's best known writers? Do you want to learn about the development of literature, language and ideas? Maybe you need to pass a citizenship test or college entrance exam. This course will give you a through grounding in English Literature.

If you have always wanted to be a literature buff but didn't know where to start, this course is for you. Maybe you are already knowledgeable about English Literature but would like to learn a little bit more about its history and the development of language and ideas. Maybe you are thinking of taking a college course in English Literature and want a taster to see if it is for you. You may need a knowledge of English language and literature to pass a citizenship test or gain access to a higher education institution. If so, this course is in depth enough to meet your needs.

This is one of the the most in depth courses in English Literature online. Presented the way a literature degree at any respected university would be structured, it looks at every major era of English Literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the modern day, covering the major authors in each era. We also look at the development of the English Language, English history and the development of ideas from medieval heroicsm to postmodernism. This is not just a collection of my personal favourite writers: it's very much based on the English literary cannon. We also look at American and Irish literature in English. Along the way we'll cover works by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Austen, Tennyson, the Brontes, Dickens, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling,  Williams Faulkner, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Beckett, Yeates, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Haddon... There's something here for everyone.

The reading list is pretty extensive but you can dip in and out of it and no prior knowledge of the texts is required.

With a degree in English Literature and a Master's in Old English from the respected Queen's University of Belfast as well as being a writer myself, I will be your guide on a literary odyssey which spans 13 centuries and more than 47 writers.

Join today to

  • Discover timeless stories and poetry you will love

  • Grow confidence in your knowledge of literature

  • Learn about the development of the English language

  • Understand cultural and ideological shifts found in English Literature


1. Introduction : Hello and welcome to this course on English literature. On the aim of this course is to get you as informed by English literature as a literature graduate on. We're going to structure this course the way a degree and English would be structured. We're going to go right the way back to the earliest text we have in English. The dream of the roads written on the Rothwell Cross on. We're going to go through all the major periods off English literature from the early medieval period the later medieval period, the Renaissance Period, which will cover writers like Shakespeare, Marlowe and Spencer. The Regency period, where we're looking writers such as Samuel Richardson and Jane Austen. Then we'll move into the Romantics will Look a Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats moving on to Victorian literature. Where will talk about the Bronte Sisters will talk about Charles Dickens. We'll talk it by Alfred Lord Tennyson, and we'll talk about George Eliot. Then we'll move into the early 20th century. We'll talk about the war Poets on a bite, Rudyard Kipling and the later 20th century. We'll look at the fantasy writers such A. C S. Lewis Jr are talking. We'll also look at contemporary writers such as JK Rolling Mark Haddon here makin. There's also a section in the course on American literature. We'll look at Mark Twin, Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald on Irish writers. Will will look at James Joyce Samuel back. It's George Bernard Shaw, Shamus Haney. That's gonna be an exciting part of the course to you, so hope you're excited Night. The reading list for this course is quite extensive, but I don't expect you to read absolutely every text that's on it or to stand a huge amount of money, so shorter poems are included in the resources section of this course. If you go on to the class project, you'll find a link to those resources. Andi. I've also listed places where you can get the other classic texts quite cheaply, and remember that you can get classics free on Kindle a lot of the time, so I hope you're excited to go on. Let's start the course 2. Reading English Literature: So before we launch into the course, I just want to give a short lecture on reading English literature. Nice. Some of you may be doing this course for pure fun because you love reading, and that's fine. If you're studying English and you want a little bit more academic direction, we're going to talk a bite textual analysis, which is something that you may already be doing on placing the text within an historical and literary contexts, which is what happens at undergraduate level, whereas at school you may be simply carrying like textual analysis would like comparing the text toe other texts from the same period or in the same genre. So Wordsworth, William Wordsworth famously said, We murder to dissect and sometimes will be study thing too closely, and we tear it apart. We completely kill the enjoyment off it, and that's something that I want you to avoid. During this course, we want to learn a bite, the growth of English literature and the many different genres within it, but still have some fun. But sometimes we do have to dissect texts if we're studying English in that kiss. What you want to look at is What is the overall message off the text? What cultural names or norms is it conveying on High doesn't do this doesn't do it through a certain character and characterize Ishan. Does it actually make statements of certain cultural names and isn't in the use of language ? And certain things are good. Certain things about High is this message conveyed what is striking about the use of language. For example, J R R. Tolkien sometimes uses very archaic language, even though he was riding in the 20th century to show that he's influenced by Matti Evil literature. The likes of Virginia Woolf used stream of consciousness, the words that would actually be running through a character's mind, high as the use off language impacting your experience as a reader on which literary devices air used. I've given a few examples here. Pathos, in other words, does the text move you? Is there a certain sadness about their thoughts? Does it go from the very grand to the totally ridiculous stream of consciousness, which we've already mentioned a device of Virginia Woolf's and the modernists where you might not even have filled stops? It's just a stream off thoughts that are going through your character's head metaphor, where basically, the text is an image representing a deeper meaning simile, which is something very similar. Only similarly uses the word like So, for example, if I said I smile like a Cheshire cat, that is assembly, where as metaphor might be something like the Eagles Hotel California and in their master's chamber, they gathered for the faced. They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast that's actually about drug taking. On the steely knives are the syringes. It doesn't use the word like, though. So it is a matter for, rather than a similarly characterize ish in which characters have a significant character arc really move from one place to another one way of being to another during the story. So these are all things to be looking ICT for as you're reading, the texts on this course will be trying to put the text that we read within a context in this course the texture, divided and historical context, and also literary movements such as romanticism, modernism, anti modernism. We'll be having a look at all these things during the course off the course. That's not a good sentences, of course, of the course. Any right. We want to look at the text bearing in mind that there is a new idea within the study of English called intentional fallacy, and it was brought up in the late 20th century by a couple of literary critics called Wins at Beardsley. And the idea is, you can't say the author intended the audience to feel this sort of think this because you don't actually know what the author intended, especially if they're long dead and you can't have a conversation about it, except on those rare occasions where the author has somewhere told us or written a bite what they intended. So when you're writing an academic essay in English, you don't use words like the writer intended to. You know, that's not considered academic so high. Does the text reflect the social attitude of its time or, indeed, critic? They so a good example off a writer who protect social norms was Charles Dickens. So if you're reading work by Dickins, it's thinking about high. The social attitudes are portrayed. Are they portrayed by characters that we like or dislike Andi High? Are they being critiqued. Hi! Does the tax connect with the life of the author and I. We talked to bite intentional fallacy, but where we do have some knowledge off the life of the author and this course bring much talks a bite. The lives of the author's mentions and writers is the text. Autobiographical or semi autobiographical? Is the writer's own life on influence on the text on High? Does the text compared other tax from the same period or within the same literary genre? That's why it be really good, if you can, to read more than one book poem text from H section of the court. 3. Literary Devices : in this video, we're going to talk about some of the literary devices that you might encounter in the books that you read as part of this course on the other texts. Because, of course, we're going to cover poems on short stories as well as whole novels. Some of these devices are used through ICT, the different eras off English literature. Some of them pretend mostly to modern literature, but we'll talk about that as we go through the video. So let's talk a little bit about imagery and symbolism on high. It's used in literature. We're going to start with talking a bite matter for on what a metaphor is is a symbol used to tell a story where it's a picture that really describes something else. So we're gonna take an example here off the ships, going into the West in the Lord of the Rings final installment, The Return of the King. So here's a quote from J. R. R. Tolkien on the ship, went out into the high sea and passed into the west until, at last on a night of ran photo, smelled a sweet fragrance in the air and heard the sign of singing that came over the water night and literature. The sea is quite often used as a symbol off death on you know, proto. Passing to another shore is a symbol of his passing light of the world, so it's very much an image of death. And that is what a metaphor is when we use a picture to actually describe something else. A rad rose quite often symbolizes love. The sea and crossing over, the say, quite often symbolizes. Death went er quite often symbolizes death. Sometimes, you know, by talking about the C. We're not talking about the sea itself. Ni Assembly is a bit like a metaphor, only it uses the words as or like. So Here is a famous example off similarly, by Robert Burns, pictured here on the right. Oh, my love is like a red red rose that's newly sprung in June. Oh, my love is like the melody that's sweetly played in June, so the difference between Assembly a metaphor is really the use of words like like or as so it's it's making that deliberate comparison between his love on the red Red Rose pathetic fallacy is another use of imagery. It can be slightly like metaphor, but it's something much more specific. It's when a writer uses the natural world, as in the weather, the landscape to reflect the inner state off the characters in the story. So here is a great example from William Shakespeare's Macbeth Off Pathetic policy by the clock Tuesday. And yet Dark Knight strangles the traveling lump. It's night's predominance, or the day's shame that darkness does the fierce of Earth and tomb when living light should kiss it. So night strangles on. We know that the Lord and Lady Macbeth or actually murderous characters. And is it really the day that feel shame? Or is it Lord and Lady McBath? So the sort of spiritual state off the characters is described by imagery of nature. Another great example here from George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. Ah, cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things. So the cold wind from the north shows us that there is a sense of danger. There is a sense off unease. There is a sense of unhappiness that is human rather than just describing the natural world . Allegri is another form off imagery that you may find in some of the pieces. We encounter a very famous example off Allegri as George Orwell's animal farm, which on the surface level is about the animals in a farmyard but is actually a story told and symbols a bite the establishment of the Soviet Union on Communist raising. So this quote says the animals were happy as they have never conceived it. Possible to be every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure. Neither that was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master. So you can tell that there are political undertones to this coat, as there are two, the whole off the work and that is Allah. Great imagery is another literary device that very much sets the tone of what we're reading . But who knows what she spoke to the darkness alone in the better watches of the night when all her life seems shrinking on the walls of her bar closing and a biter, Ah, hutch to Trammel Some Wild thing and that's from The Return of the King by J R R. Talking the final installment of The Lord of the Rings. So if you think of the image of the and here ah, Hutch to Trammel some wild thing in. So the character, Aylwin is trapped, she is enclosed. She is with ICT choice. So the image tells us something about the character, and it also creates an atmosphere of darkness alone. Better watches of the night, some completely different imagery in this quote by William Wordsworth from his very famous poem, Daffodils. I wanted lonely as a Clyde that floats on high or veils and hills when all at once I saw a cried a host of golden daffodils beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze. So this host of golden daffodils, a very bright, sunshiny image, a very happy image sets a very different tone from the former quote. Foreshadowing is a literary device you're buying tive and kind erred. It's often used not only in Becks but in TV shows and movies as well. In military contacts, the two great examples I can think off one is Somerville, and Ross is the rial Charlotte Knight. In this novel, one of the principal characters, Francie, is eventually killed in a riding accident at the end of the novel. Hope that's not a spoiler if any of you are reading it, Andi. Throughout the novel, there are symbols off horses doing her harm. For example, at one point she is pricked by, Ah, Horseshoe Broach, which causes her some pin. And so these little incidents throughout the novel point to her eventual fit. George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones is famous for the use of foreshadowing. Of course, they books a song of Ice and fire do the same thing. So a great example is the Dad Stag, which is being dismembered for Want of a Better Word by Tywin Lannister Night Stag in the World Off, A Song of Ice and Fire represents the Marathi um, family and as the sigil of house Baratheon. And so when we see Taiwan cutting up the stag, that foreshadows the fact that Taiwan's heist, the House of Lannister, will eventually destroy the heist of parathion. Let's talk about about high tone is created and literature stream of consciousness as one way of doing that. Neither man pictured the top here is a man called William Fortner. He was a modernist writer on stream of consciousness is something that's used in modernist writing. We don't really find it in Renaissance or many evil literature. It's something that happened much later. So here is an example off stream of consciousness from the Sign on the Fury, a novel by William Faulkner and, of course, the signs on the fury. The title is an illusion to McBath, it's it comes from a line of Macbeth. So when the shadow of the sash appeared in the cartons, it was between seven and eight oclock. And then I wasn't time again hearing the watch, it was grandfathers. And when Father gave it to me, he said, I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. It's rather excretion, a tingly at that. You should use it again, the Reducto absurdum of all human experience. So, as you can see, the story is told via what is going on in the character's mind and this sort of continuous flow. It's not the same as first person narration, a character in the story telling the story. It's more in depth in that it's that we're seeing the internal workings of the mind, and this kind of constant flow rather than you know, telling a sort of standard structured story. Virginia Woolf was another famous writer who employed the mechanism of stream of consciousness. Point of view Characters is similar but slightly different. George R. R. Martin mix very good use of point of view characters and has a song of ice and fire series , which became a game of Thrones on TV, Of course, so here we see one of the point of view characters is area. I wish I was at home, she said miserably. She tried so hard to be brave, to be to be fares as a Wolverine at all. But sometimes she felt she was a little girl after all. So it's not using I. It's not the person telling their own story, but yet we are seeing the story through the point of view, off off several specific characters, and that creates a certain slumped on the story. Let's talk a bite, the epic, which is a very high tone, very grand form of literature. Here we have a quote from the poem Bear Wealth, which is one of the earliest works in English. This is actually English and we're going to talk about Anglo Saxon English, which is very close to German. Just a little bit later in the course, let make our Dana and yet Dagenham Ufa, Kuningan three m If Ronan. So I'll actually read you a translation of that by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney. The spirit ends and days gone by, and the kings who ruled them had courage on greatness. We have heard of these princes, heroic campaigns, so it's very high. It's very lofty. If you think of classical literature, very famous epics would include The odyssey on the A needed, for example, of the themes are very ground on universal in Epic the polar opposite to the epic is the Kolok. Well, on a very famous example. Off the colloquial is to your my spy, this gentleman, Robert Burns. We slick it. Carlin timorous Beastie. Oh, what a panics in thy brass tea that I need. They start away so hasty with bicker and Brattle I would be live to religiously with murdering Papel, so he's using the Scottish dialect here to grit effect on. That is, of course, Kulik well, that she isn't colloquialisms and other words, words and phrases like Patil here, Brattle that are local to Scotland. But also the subject matter is a little bit more domestic, not on the grand scale that epic is. So this is on finding a little mice in her last. As you can see at the dedication of the start here, it's a great example off. The colloquial allusion is when one tax toe, one work of art mix reference to another text, a work of art or two on event. So a great example off illusion is in the Harry Potter books in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rolling the inscription on the tombstone of Ariana Dumbledore. It reads where your treasure is there will your heart be also And that is actually a quote from the Bible. It's a verb. Bottom quote off the King James version of the Bible of Matthew, Chapter six, Verse 21 or Luke 12 Verse 34 which are identical versus There's, of course, another biblical allusion in the Deathly Hallows. Because Harry goes to King's Cross, Anna's then resurrected, so that is also illusion, although it doesn't actually directly quote the Bible. But of course, the cross is a key symbol from the Bible, and the King's Cross is again a very biblical idea, as is the idea off resurrection. Another example of elation that we talked about earlier in this video is The Signs on the Fury by William Faulkner. The title, designed on the Fury, is actually taken from Shakespeare's play Macbeth. Life is a tale told by an idiot full of signed on fury signifying nothing. So that is a clear example off attacks, referring to another text. Let's not talk about the linguistic devices that you might find in some of these tax, so we're going to start with pathos. Pathos is a use of language that makes you feel sad on causes you to empathize with a certain character. So taking another quote here from tokens. Lord of the Rings at the Hills Foot photo find Aragorn standing still and silent, is a tree. But in his hand was a small golden bloom of Eleanor on the light was in his eyes on taking photos, hands on his. He left the hill of Karen on growth and came there never again as a living man. So here Aragorn, the future king in the story is leaving a place that he associates with his love, our win, and we're told that he's never going to return there again as a living man, which sort of suggests that he might hold this place at some point in the future. So the use of language here very sad, very emotional, that is pickles. Their thoughts may rhyme with pathos, but it's something very different. Here is an example off it from Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock, he said, the pitying audience melt in tears. But Fit and Jove have stopped the baron's ears. Invent the last rece with reproach. A sales for who can move when they're Belinda feels not half so fixed. The Trojan could remain, while Ana begged and died a ridged invent. So this is very high, epic language. We actually have allusions to characters from famous epics. Daido From There. Ned What? We have the Trojan here, an allusion to the Trojan wars, you know, big theme off the Odyssey in the early abso we're talking epic here, and all of a sudden we go from epic to say, Why are beauties praised on honored most The Wiseman's passion on the van man's toast. Why, decked with all that land and sea can afford when Angels called an angel like, adored so again hi language. But all of a sudden that becomes, Why ride our coaches cried the white gloved Bo. Why'd buys the side box from its in most rows? So we go from the epic on the ground to the very every day gloves and side boxes in other words, from the sublime to the ridiculous and that sort of descending in tone often to create humor. But often two to make a point and to Rounder something absurd is with us. Hyperbole is also illiterate device that can be used for comic effect or to make a point again. We're going to read some lines from the rape of the lock. This is It's very famous opening What dire offense from amorous causes springs? What mighty contests rise from trivial things. I sing this verse to Carol News is Jew. This even Belinda May foot sifter view slight is the subject, but not so the prayers if she inspire and he approved my lays. So the river the lock is actually the trees story off an aristocratic lady in England who was? I did a party on a gentleman at the party Kim and cut off a lock of her hair on in her time . That was considered very, very shocking. It was an absolute public disgrace. It suggested that she waas sort of sexually a moral at the time. Andi. Actually, it was a very small event which became blown out of proportion. And so Alexander Pope wrote the rape of the lock, and he is doing something here to mimic that feeling off. Things being blown out of proportion. He's using epic language. He's actually mimicking the opening of epic pose. If you think back Teoh Bear Wealth, Which Bucket? Which began with, you know, stirring opening lines. This is what he's doing here. He's giving a grand sentiment at the start. What dire offense from amorous causes springs? What mighty contests Mighty contest? That's big language rise from trivial things. And yet he's talking about someone's hair. Been cups, that is, hyperbole, exaggeration, basically blowing things up, um, for comic effect. Or to be critical juxtaposition is when we mentioned two things to people to ideas, or perhaps more than two side by side and in order to create a comparison between those things on. One of the most famous examples of juxtaposition is the Opening of A Tale of two cities by Charles Dickens. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness, so constant comparison. Faster times west of times. Wisdom, foolishness, belief, incredulity, light darkness. You can see what I mean. But by putting those things to gather in one phrase, it mixed that comparison very sharp. So these are some of the literary devices that you will encounter going through this course , be on the lookout for them as you read the texts, a much used literary device in the Medi Evil period. But also three art English literature is alliteration on a little Asian is the repetition off continent signs. So here we have an example in modern English from Pearl Answer or few, which is actually a middle English text of medieval text. But it captures the alliteration that would have been present in the original manuscript because many evil poetry relies more heavily on a literary shin than on rhyme. So she shone and beauty upon the shore. She shown. Sure that is a little Asian long did my glance on her a light on. The longer I looked, I knew her more long plants, which also has an element a light longer looked on. The reason for the use of alliteration and medieval poetry is that it was an oral tradition , and if people were to remember the lines, alliteration actually helps us to remember phrases quite well. Abstinence is very similar to alliteration. It's the repetition off vile signs rather than continent signs. So here, as an example from Early Moon by Carl Sandburg. Poetry is old, Ancient goes back far. It is among the oldest of living things so old that no man knows high on why the first poems cam so that repetition of the O signed is creating a pattern in the words on the article that I find here suggests that the O signs old or mysterious 4. Literary Criticism : Before we get reading the texts on this course, we're going to look at different approaches to interpreting texts. I'm not strict prior to his literary criticism, which doesn't mean, you know, like reviews written of texts and newspapers. Literary criticism refers to the different schools of thoughts that are put in place in interpreting texts on placing them within their historical. So let's look at some of the major approaches to criticism. And if you're interested in this area, I haven't cleaned it. A very useful article as a downloadable resource. So formalist criticism, if you've studied English in high skill, that's probably the approach that you've taken so far. Formalism asserts that everything you need to interpret the text is within the text itself. So rather than look at the text would then say it's historical context, it very much focuses on things like the structure of the text, on the literary devices that are used within the text. Historical criticism, on the other hand, looks at the text within the social, cultural, and intellectual background of its time. And it necessarily focuses on the biographical details of the author and during so that's more of the approach that we're going to tick. And this course on you will be getting a lot of background information, a bite. The writers whom we're going to be looking at. Janda criticism as mostly feminist criticism, although sometimes masculinist. And this approach focuses on the attitudes to gender and sexuality. And high, those have changed and society and how we can see them reflected in literature. Psychological criticism mostly comes from the perspective of psychoanalysis on the work of Sigmund Freud. And this approach looks at the interaction between literature and psychology. So it's very interested in the internal world of the characters rather than the action of the text. Mythological criticism looks at recurring themes and archetypes and literature. So whether something was written in the medieval period or it was written last week, according to mythological criticism, there will be parallels, though, would be certain things in archetypes, but will be common to literature. So little quote here, um, but describes it quite well, is that it looks for the recurrence universal patterns underlying most literary wax. And it takes in the fields of anthropology, psychology, history, and comparative religion. When looking at literature. Reader response criticism is interested and what happens in the reader's mind when that person is interpreting a text. And in that sense, there is no one interpretation of attacks because every reader's response to the text will be different. Deconstructionist criticism ticks that little bit further and says that language is unstable on changes with time. So it cannot represent truth. And it doesn't actually deconstructionist criticism doesn't really believe in the concept of truth and that absolutely every reader over text will interpret it slightly differently. New historicism as a form of literary criticism that was really coalesced by an academic called Stephen Green BLAT from UCLA and America in the 19 nineties. And it goes a little bit further than historicism. And a nice quote I find is that it's a form of literary theory whose goal is to understand intellectual history through lecture and literature, through its cultural context. So you're both pitting the texts into the context of the society in which they were written and gaining information, a bite that society from the text. So you may belong to one of these schools. You may see merit. And several of them, it's really up to you what way you interpret the texts that were a byte to rate. 5. Old English: we're going to start by looking at the very oldest English literature, and that is old English or Anglo Saxon literature. Go to talk a little bit in this video just is an introduction about the language on the history off this literature. So old English is not Shakespeare. It's not these and eyes on the left hand side here, you'll see an example of old English, the autonomous medium switcher him, Allah, he f. It doesn't even signed anything like the language that we speak today. And that's because this is English, as spoken by the Anglo Saxons who had come over from Saxony in Germany. So it's very, very close to German on. Actually, if you speak German, you'll probably find understanding old English quite easy. Later on in history, the French, of course, invaded with the Normans. They threw a bit of French into German on the language of the church was Latin, which also got thrown in. So that mix of English French, Andi Latin gave us English. But this is it. Before a lot of that have happened, so you can see the language there with a translation. So this is what you need to know about the Anglo Saxons on the stories they told on the literature that we have inherited from them. Their language is a form of German. We've already talked a little bit about that on their literature was mostly an oral tradition, so they had these great, exciting, heroic tales for the dragons and monsters, which got passed down orally. But they tended not to write things dine, which means that not a lot off their stories have survived until they converted to Christianity Night Christianity is based on the idea of the word, so it was quite important to the Christians on, especially the monks off the dark ege early medieval period that things start to be written . Died nine. Actually, they were writing things down in Latin, which was the language of the church. But they also wrote a few texts in Anglo Saxon, which survived to today night. Writing things Stone in those days wasn't as easy as picking up your phone and texting. Writing was actually Bach breaking work, they wrote on vellum, which is like I hide and they wrote with very costly colored inks on DSO. Being ascribe was an important job, and it was actually quite back breaking work. They worked long ours, and it would have taken many, many, many R's of work to write a manuscript, perhaps weeks of work. So much of this literature was lost during the dissolution off the monasteries under Henry the Eighth. Very sadly, a lot of it quite literally went up in smoke so you can read the entire Anglo snacks and cannon. It's possible to do that because so little survives from that period, but we have enough to give us a flavor off the kind of stories and the kind of fame's that they were into at that point in history. So the two major themes of their work are the Christian on the heroic, So we've experienced a lot of cultural change within our lifetimes. But this was a seismic change from paganism and from the kind of heroic values, things like kinship serving your Lord, which actually didn't disappear under Christianity. Those things still survived on were subsumed into the Christian culture, but there is this kind of clash of cultures happening at that period in history and happening in the literature that we've received from it. So the conversion to Christianity happened to run the lit six century. Of course, Christianity had been floating a bite since the first century. But you have, and 5 98 the arrival of sin to Guston on. That's where in England, although there was no idea of one central England at that time. But when that part of the world started to contract, so also, during this period, the Vikings were causing a lot of trouble. They 1st 1st invaded in 7 93 And so the Norse myths and legends that were part of that Scandinavian folklore Kim in Tiu consciousness off the Anglo Saxon. So they kept attacking for several centuries, and also they formed colonies in England such as very famously in New York or your vic, as they would have called it. So England was in that times, but into several different kingdoms of different kings such as Northumbria on Mercia. There was SX and Wessex East Saxons in the West Saxons. So it wasn't the sort of coherent and today that it is nine. So, as with the rest off, this course you don't need to read all the texts is just about having a little bit of background and understanding in all areas of English literature. So you only need to read the ones that really appeal to you. We're looking at three text here. One of them is a longer taxed, so I'll include some links off translations of bear wealth, and the other two are shorter poems, which I will include in the dial audible resources in there entirely again. Bear Wolf. You might be freaked right by saying the old English written here. You don't need to read it in the original old English. It's totally fine to read in translation. So in this section of the course, we're going to look at three. Text the dream of the Rood bear Wolf and Wolf on Ed Walker. So let's have a look at those tax no. 6. The Dream of the Rood & the Ruthwell Cross: in this video, we're going to talk a by the oldest text in English. And that is a poem called The Dream of the Rood, which is find in the virtually book, which is in the British Library. Onda inscribed upon a monument called the Rothwell Cross, which is in Rothwell in Scotland at the moment. So this is the Rothwell cross I went to visit a couple of years ago. It's incredibly beautiful night across, maybe associate ID with memorials for the dead. In some cultures, in the Celtic culture, on possibly also in the Anglo Saxon across was like a milestone. A marker. You know, people didn't have newspapers. They didn't go onto Facebook to get their news. This was a way off, transmitting important cultural information by carving in stone. So as you can see, it is beautifully carved with images from the Bible. You'll notice that it's inside a church. That's because it was unfortunately, at one point in history, purposefully dismantled, but then was later restored and put together and put in this church and rough well for safekeeping on the photograph to the right, ill noticed some little etchings on the cross that is the text. It is the dream of the rood night. It's written in runes on rooms where not the language as they may be in some sort of Hollywood movies. Rooms were letters, so it's the Rennick alphabet rather than the Latin it alphabet that we find on the roof. Well, cross. So we've talked a little bit about where the poem is find. So a guy called Bruce Mitchell, who is a specialist in old English, notes that the dream of the Rood as the central lechery document for understanding the resolution of competing cultures, which was the presiding concern of the Christian Anglo Saxons. So we talked a little bit in the previous video, a Bite the Christian on the Heroic. These are the two kind of central themes of the literature of that period on this poem, sort of heroic sizes. The story off the cross Teoh make it more presentable to an Anglo sax and audience. So this is what is written in runes on the Rothwell Cross. This is high. It translates into old English when it's written within the Varma Charlie Beck. Neither Vermicelli book is so named because it is in vermicelli innately currently, But it is literature written in old English, whether their first er Baron Momo I Pillay till Adam. Okay, so that's what written. I know it doesn't sign very much like English. If you see the second line after the little dash, that latter that looks a bit like a pay that is thorn. So it's pron ICTs t it. Okay, so this is the modern English translation. Christ was on the cross yet the brave came from afar to their lord. So that is both a Christian and a very heroic idea. Heroic literature talks about the brave on coming from afar traveling. That is also something that you get and heroic lister. 7. Beowulf : in this video, we're going to talk about the most famous of old English tax on that is bail with You can See on the right hand side here, the poster from the Hollywood movie that starred Ray Winston and Angelina Jolie. And there's an image here off the kind of story that Bear Wolf is. It's a swords and sorcery story. It's got Mostar's, It's got dragons. It's got clowns. It's got kings. It's basically the early medieval gim of throats, So Bear Wolf is an epic poem. So you think of poems like The Odyssey or They Needed and Casca literature, where you have a flawed hero who travels and has adventures and has loyal retainers Barrow of as much along the same lines. It probably has its origins as a story in Germany or in southern Scandinavia, and it references the sixth century in northern Europe within the story. It was possibly written between 9 75 on 10 25 so it contains the heroic themes off the pagan pre Christian world of kinship on loyalty to your Lord. Although the story has been Christianized, which we would expect because it has presumably been transcribed within a modest rate. So the manuscript called the Newell Manuscript of Bail Wolf, was written by two scribes on. They were called Being From an Older Text, which we no longer have. The first scribe made some edits. He changed the language, a bet appealed to his contemporaries. I'm making a bit more up to date for the late 10 cents, right on the second scribe transcribed a bit more faithfully. So when you read the story in the original Map manuscript, there's a difference between the first on the second half of the story. So the story of their Wolff goes a bit like this. Bear Will, who's a Gate ish hero is called upon to Ed, the king of the dense Roth car. His whole is being regularly attacked by a monster called Randall. Night bear with battles and finally kills Grandal on. Grandal's mother doesn't take well to this, and she exacts Ah, horrible revenge, only to be finally slimmed by bearable. Some 50 years later, Bale happens to fight a dragon aunt. He's mortally wounded, so his loyal followers commit him. There is a memorial to him in true heroic style, So if you're a fan, off fantasy lecture on you, like all things otherwordly with dragons, then it may be well worth your while. Teoh, try reading Babel's. There is a translation by Sheer Mazzini, which is very popular, but you can find many translations off by a wolf into modern English. 8. Wulf and Eadwacer: in this video, we're going to talk about one off my favorite poems. This as a very beautiful poem called Wolf on Ed Walker. No, Wolf is not about a literal wolfers in an animal. It was a very common name for a man in Anglo Saxon literature and add Wacker means property watcher like a guardian off a site. So that could either be the name off the woman who's speaking in this poem. Or it could be the name off her husband. So this is a story, a bite, forbidden love, so slightly like an earlier form of Romeo and Juliet, although it's a slightly different story. So I'm going to read a little bit of this to you in old English, and then we're going to read it in translation. So it is a little difficult to read old