Introduction to Old English II: Beowulf


Friday, 2 pm - 4 pm


F. Michelet

Completion of Old English I or its equivalent is desirable, but not a prerequisite.

Course Description

This course is devoted to a collaborative reading and analysis of the Old English poem Beowulf: its language, its cultural and historical backgrounds, and its style. The work of our class will rely on close and informed attention to the poem's language and rhetorical strategies. In addition, we'll begin to explore some of the more technical aspects of studying Old English verse: possible topics include metrical analysis, paleography, and/or the problems of dating and authorship.

Course Reading List

Edition: R. D. Fulk et al., eds., Klaeber's Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, 4th ed. (Toronto: U of Toronto Press, 2008). Secondary texts: TBA.

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements

Regular class attendance and active class participation. Class time will be spent in discussion and translation of the poem. Each student will be required to make several short and informal presentations in this course.


  • Class work: 15%
  • Class presentations: 15%
  • Short essay (abstract): 10%
  • Final paper: 60%

Term: S-TERM (January 2023 to April 2023)
Date/Time: Friday / 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: In-Person