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English 2322: British Literature

This guide was created for Brinkman's English 2322 British Literature class.

Assignment

For this assignment, you will conduct research on one of two very important medieval institutions: the church or the royal court. 

One of the reasons we read old books is to learn about what life was like in a different time. Knowing about history can illuminate the texts we read, and the texts we read can give us a new perspective on the past. The first part of this course focused on the medieval period, a time quite removed from our lives in 2022. This assignment aims to give you historical perspective, deepen your understanding of the assigned texts, and fulfill our state-mandated learning outcomes involving research and tracing the development of the English literary tradition. The premise of this assignment is that literature and history go hand-in-hand, are mutually reinforcing, and are fruitful sites for inquiry.

See tabs on this box for topics.

Requirements:

  • MLA formatting
  • Proper in-text citations
  • Works Cited page
  • Text evidence from both academic sources and selected texts
  • Edited for grammar and clarity
  • At least 800 words
  • Becoming an anchorite/anchoress
  • Pilgrimages
  • Relics
  • Intercession of the saints
  • Jousting/tournaments of knights
  • Mysticism

IF YOU PICK A TOPIC RELATED TO THE CHURCH, PLEASE LOOK INTO THE MEDIEVAL BELIEFS AND PRACTICES, NOT THE STANCE OF THE CHURCH TODAY.

  • Henry II
  • Troubadors
  • Chivalry (focus on one of the values)
  • Courtly love
  • Manners in court

FOCUS ON THE ROYAL COURT BETWEEN THE YEARS 1100-1500, NOT BEFORE OR AFTER.

​​​​​​Once you’ve gained some insight into the topic of your choice, apply it to the literature. You may pick ONE OR TWO texts – not more, not fewer – and explain how the research you did either helps us understand the text better or explicate how the text helps us have a different/new perspective on your topic.

  • “The Dream of the Rood”
  • Excerpts of Margery Kempe
  • Excerpts of Julian of Norwich
  • Excerpts of Thomas Malory
  • Excerpts of Marie de France
  • Excerpts of Chaucer

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