Proseminar: Heroism in Old English Literature

Dozenten-innen: Vuille Juliette
Kursus: Bachelor
Art der Unterrichtseinheit: Proseminar
Sprache-n: Englisch
Semester: SP-2022

In a land where Germanic heroes and shining women of good counsel ruled the poetic imaginaire, the question remains, who, or what, is a hero? Is this a gendered concept, or is it possible to conceive of female heroes, such as perhaps Judith or Elene?

This seminar will enable students to work out for themselves a general definition of heroism, and, specifically, the Germanic, and early Christian, conception of the hero, through some well-known staples of Anglo-Saxon literature, such as the Dream of the Rood, Beowulf, or Judith, but also other, less often studied works at the university level: The Battle of Brunanburh, The Battle of Maldon, Elene, Andreas, and the Fates of the Apostles.

This seminar will at the same time strive to deepen students' engagement with Old English language and culture by combining an exploration of heroes and heroines in Old English Literature with an introduction to Old English grammar and short translations from the Monasteriales indicia (monks' sign language), prognostics, and riddles.


Set texts:

Beowulf, ed. and facing page translation by R.M. Liuzza (London: Broadview, 2013). 
A handout will also be provided