Arthurian Literature from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones
Queen Mary, University of London
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units6
Hours & Credits
This module studies the legend of King Arthur from its earliest literary expression in the twelfth century to the present day. The story of King Arthur and his court has always had an international appeal. Its first great promoter (Geoffrey of Monmouth) was Welsh; its first great poet (Chrétien de Troyes) was French; Arthurian narratives were rapidly translated into all major (and some minor) European languages. The modern Arthur is as much the property of Mark Twain and Hollywood as Alfred Lord Tennyson and T.H. White. This module therefore tracks the development of the Arthurian legend across time and space. We will look particularly at the way in which Arthurian literature opens a space for experimental writing, for sexual adventure and piety in almost equal measure, and for a surprisingly large number of female characters. The texts studied in semester one and the early part of semester two will be predominantly medieval; in the latter half of semester two we will explore the rich vein of Arthuriana from the nineteenth century onwards, culminating in an exploration of the Arthurian roots of HBO¿s hit series, Game of Thrones.
Assessment: 100.0% Coursework
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