Literature 4 - Humour in Medieval Celtic Literature

Maynooth University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Literature 4 - Humour in Medieval Celtic Literature

  • Host University

    Maynooth University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Celtic Studies, Literature

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    There are a number of texts surviving from twelfth-century Ireland and Wales which are generally accepted as being ironic or parodic in intent, and are thus regarded as humorous compositions. This module will trace the earlier development of humour in medieval Celtic narrative, examining the use of subversive literary tropes ? particularly irony ? to undermine certain social or religious conventions. Students will explore a range of ironic and parodic narratives, and the relationship between humour and the more serious genre of satire will be considered. Students will explore the way that humour is used to subvert the so-called ?heroic ethos? and to express disapproval at cases of clerical immorality. This will lead to a consideration of some of the more extensive parodies and ironic narratives written in medieval Ireland and Wales, including Aislinge Meic Con Glinne and Culhwch ac Olwen.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
    - Demonstrate an understanding of the forms of humour used in medieval narrative, such as irony, parody and subversion of audience expectation
    - Demonstrate familiarity with a range of medieval Irish and Welsh texts which use humour as a narrative device.
    - Development of analytical, close-reading and essay-writing skills

    Teaching & Learning Methods:
    - Lectures: 24 hours

    - Continuous Assessment: 50%
    - University scheduled written examination: 50%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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