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Eng 1330 Myths of Britain

by: Hannah Zikria

Eng 1330 Myths of Britain ENGL1330

Hannah Zikria

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Detailed notes from all lectures and discussions thus far (midterm) in the semester.
Myths of Britain
Jeffrey Cohen
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This 18 page Bundle was uploaded by Hannah Zikria on Sunday March 6, 2016. The Bundle belongs to ENGL1330 at George Washington University taught by Jeffrey Cohen in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 54 views. For similar materials see Myths of Britain in Foreign Language at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 03/06/16
Lecture & Discussion Notes Date: 01/19/2016 o At the Middle Ages time; The Wanderer was most likely written by someone under the King at the time, could possibly  At the time it was written, there was no Britain: England comes from Angles  Geats are Beowulf’s people  Danes are the Hrothgar’s people All are culturally consistent with the Vikings; time context is pre-Middle Ages to Middle Ages BEOWULF + modern title, so is about a broader world Grendel is the sub-caine, Cane got God to change his mind. Tradition of Woman Warriors in Viking culture Beowulf and Grendel (tall and well-matched); had the strength of 30 men in his grip (both are excessive) lines 709-740 is written from Grendel’s perspective; background community song bothers him (telling Biblical stories)-smashes this hall built for his exclusion. Grendel can’t be the Wanderer because he doesn’t want to belong to another switches to  Beowulf is willing to sacrifice his men (for the greater good) o “The Wanderer” sts how much the people rely on their leaders’ protection +Does not tell story about any commoners; all Danes (nobility), have the ability to rule Is it a failure of leadership or an uncanny leadership?  Hero (Greek word; no equivalent in old English)=one that protects their people that they are the leader of  Warrior= strength (after they conquer) Wants to make the people resonate with his last words. Line 140-creating empathy for Grendel (the destroyer) through describing his death: at Beowulf’s funeral: a gruesome song was song 01/26/2016 Women in Medieval times  women were to abide by gender roles (legally and socially) o married and had children young o married for family and class; not usually love  religious (not more pious than presently)  who one marries mattered more according to class o laboring (in lower classes) was gendered most of the time finance in marriage-> seen in Wife of Bath (uses marriage for money) -women had more legal rights when not married (better than in later time periods) +thrived as nuns or abscesses ---WIFE OF BATH’S (Allison’s) TALE---  doesn’t have kids and is a contradiction o she (her voice) is inhabited by Chaucer [what is his view on women] o was a merchant/ independent business woman but marginalized o she’s well-read and highly educated  exposes the flaws of religion in texts  manipulates her husbands in a way that makes them happy + husband #4 played and cheated on her and hurt her emotions; so she spread rumors that she cheated but did not because of her respect for the institution of marriage; has a strong sense middle class morality that is bound up in marriage + husband #5: was an Oxford clerk (Gov. admin); is 20 yrs younger than her; domestic abuse; She turns everything to her advantage-approach a common kindness (sovereignty) 1. How is Chaucer portraying women? Shows the effect that a history of violence could have on the psychology of a woman Multiple Layers: ~NINE MEDIEVAL ROMANCES OF MAGIC~ Wife of Bath’s Tale: Medieval period DISCUSSION 01/29/2016 similarities between Wife of Bath and Sir Gowther  knights go on a quest o WOB: What women want; women have the most power and control o Sir Gowther: Redemption; women have no control o both knights who were noble misbehave (out of the norm)  unspecific time  women’s capabilities are questioned and extremely initially underestimated  narrator’s discussion scholarship vs. experience focus=Sir Gowther  the fiend is the devil  he is able to have sex with women because he shapeshifts to look like their husbands  scholarship is used here even though it is fiction o foreshadows men distancing themselves from the devils’ rape of women as something they have to go through but men hope not to go through o ambiguity: knight accuses wife of not being able to produce an heir (a boy)  the devil appears as her husband in the orchard and rapes her  tried to turn it in her favor so that he doesn’t divorce her  there is also hope that what the devil tells her won’t come true *he burns and rapes and hangs (tortures) religious people and burns down churches +goes to Pope for help and accepts his 2 rules to eat only dog food and be mute nobility=must be attractive, good-looking in order to be a direct decendent ---both Gowther and the Emperor’s daughter are both mute Sultan=not christian Time period: crusades; so violence against saracens was seen as God’s work saracens=racially black identity and muslims No one except for the princess knows which one is Sir Gowther  Sir Gowther being good at using his weapons is now seen as an advantage o doesn’t need recognition or reputation for the good he is doing o is a selfless quality he is adapting because he will not be recognized  showing Gowther’s transition from evil to good through adapting good qualities significance of the “hiss”- onemonipea  shows connection between princess and knight Calls the Pope when the Emperor’s daughter died-> can finally talk [her first words are to Gowther]; only speaks God’s words though, so shows all recognition given to males Through the Papal kiss, God tells Sir Gowther that his devilish tendencies are gone  (Emperor and Pope give permission to marry girl w/o her consent); Gowther is able to control/rule 2 countries {was given Austria} 02/02/2016 WOMEN OF BEOWULF: many are not named but rather identified by their relationship to males -Hildeburh: peaceweaver who loses her son, brother and husband from feuds, therefore losing her place in society {foreshadows and plans layout for Grendel’s mother} [fight at Finnsburh] -Wealtheow: knows her husband Hrothgar will die soon adn fears -Grendel’s mother (unnamed: status as a parent/avenger): grieving parent to avenge son {acting as a parent would}; explained as desperate, brooding, broken, monstrous, assoc. w/ water. She crosses over to a masculine role (POV) when she avenges Grendel [and is therefore seen ravenous] ex; takes Grendel’s right arm and Hrothgar’s right arm man, starts cycle of vengeance -Freawaru: Hrothgar’s daughter, future peace- pledge -Hygd: wife of Beowulf’s lord, Hygelac, whose son is not promising -Geat woman who sings out grief  combustible: pyromaniac (like a dragon)  monster/hero: parallels between Beo and Grendel * sutton hoo (1939)-grave found [can see archeological trove in British museum * coins from Britain and Constantinople -Celtic interlace; connection to poems and shows that people liked interlacing stories  where the fight takes place is not a cave but rather a hall; therefore it is lit by a fire and so civilized  at first, he is not penitratable *narratives are essential to revenge: usually takes the greatest toll on the women +uses Grendel’s mother to makes revenge monstrous: can never have a good outcome Ethnically complex dragon: after grendel’s mother is killed; Beowulf ruled (another land) for 50 years  after a thane steals a cup and some stuff from the dragon’s lair, he seeks out revenge on the people (burns down farms and the great mead hall)  dragon -> similar to Grendel’s mother [dragons guard their hoard=>function] o neither Beowulf or W have heirs so old system is destroyed o dragon and Beowulf decide to be loners role of art in the Beowulf +beowulf’s vision of the future was for conos mes to be called ‘beowulf’s barrow’-his 50 year reign achieved nothing (vision of the future is chaos) keenest to win fame; will do anything (include killing) to be remembered next week: shift to marketplace and read first 2 acts of comedy of errors Connecting passage to Beowulf and showing his emotions in it  Beowulf presents this speech (maybe in the role of son)  foreshadowing - no heir and the demise/fall of Geatland 02/09/2016: Early Modern Period  thanes to slaves  first time secular plays were performed Comedy of errors=mix of classical (storyline) and modern (uses global marketplace) Plautis story is the source; popular in roman era  syracusans vs. ephesuans because of feud so any who cross territory o value of life (world in which lives are valued in terms of money)=global  physical comedy=>much darker to read only twins are in the place to bring out the themes of duality/comparison and 2 cities at war -valued +people still valued by money; lives not beyond monetary figure at beginning of era fashion your demeanor to my looks=look at me as a mirror&only joke if I look amused 2.2  marketplace of identities o slaves cannot be themselves, must conform to the one in charge  Dromios cannot have identities of their own, must mirror master Must always rely on the hierarchy->class->servitude idea of husband&wife being 1 body, then when 1 cheats both body’s are contaminated  believed that when they married, they would become one human o idea comes from o takes place in Ephesians; 1 of 7 churches; St. Paul writes series of letters  meditation on marriage: where she got her idea for marriage reaction to Adriana’s long speech on marriage; delivered to a stranger [her husband doesn’t have notion of them being one soul: incorporate] Shakespeare circles around idea that how does one know what spouse is doing at all times? Should their actions affect their spouse; be incorporate? 2.1 Adriana and Luciana’s conversation Adriana is worried that he’s cheating->but he is out in the marketplace; but then gives the chain that he commissioned for his wife to the prostitute b/c he can’t get in {started that he doesn’t come home on time for dinner}-a time when her beauty fades [they go outside more b/c their business lies more outdoor] What makes Adriana think of affair? She’s at home, (b/c wives place is at home)-disaster ensues if they do venture -men’s life is outside; incomenserability that men are working in the marketplace  only 1 woman (the courtesan/prostitute) gets to work in the marketplace Luciana is unmarried but yet gives all the advice on marriage. Antipholus is then attracted to what she says. Her advice is good for her and is pragmatic. Dromio equally hates being beaten like an ass-by husband and wife and other  transformation of slaves as part of the household to physical objects; for sale due to global marketplace: no one in the play knows themselves transatlantic slave trade and shakespeare at same time frame in history +Dromio of syracuse (finds out is engaged to a wench as large as the globe) gets some beatings but from Antipholus gets the most beating -chiasmus=>x figure; don’t recognize How can anyone know themselves in this global marketplace. +circulation of goods represents global marketplace +circulation of rhetoric Dromio no longer knows himself and is an ass b/c he’s been beat so much  all characters show their relation to one another o change in things 02/12/2016-discussion Comedy of Errors (“night of errors”) Long monologues: 1st is Egeon’s in section 1.1 on pages 91-94  EGEON’S: monologue is about their travels when the twins were young (babies)  was born and wed in Syracusa, left and she followed and gave birth to 2 sons-twins and very similar  he also bought 2 other twins who would attend to his sons b/c their parents were poor  returned back b/c wife wanted to  on ship sailing back: fear of death-which he was headful to but his wife did not want  they fastened their sons to safety in case they didn't live through the storm in water but did 2nd is Adriana’s in section 2.2 on pages 115-116  ADRIANA’S: monologue about how and why she thinks her husband is being unfaithful -during her conversation with Luciana  she thinks her husband, Antipholus of Syracuse is cheating on her b/c he comes home for dinner late  since she thinks marriage join them as one, she is suffering since he has tainted her  and there is nothing she can do but b’c of his (presumed) actions, she is uneasy  she got the notion of being one entity in marriage from the Bible (he has an idea of it but not sure if he fully believes, but she believes most that is why she is most in distress  she thinks she is forced to digest the tainted flesh if he is cheating on her  why she has reason to believe: he is always late for dinner and is found spending time w/ a prostitute Luciana 3.1 pg. 128-129  discussing with Antipholus how to be a better husband o how not to make it look like he’s cheating o and how to be nicer to her Antipholus of Syracuse 3.2 pg. 129-130  he is accepting of her advice and teachings o willing and wants to learn 1. Choose speech 2. Write out 10 lines and mark w/ close reading 3. Write an opening sentence and thesis statement 4. bullet point evidence to support claim(s) 5. Write 1-2 conclusion sentences ************************************************* *********Assignment #3: Adriana’s speech act: close reading for imagery, ect. write 2 pg. concise/refined********************************* *********  incorporate comments from previous assignments in addition to rubric o and take into account writing tips on handout  comment mistakes to avoid:  make sure addresses prompt  avoid Middle Age’s generalizations  avoid generalizations in text  focus argument; keep organized  edit; keep concise  claim(s): no need to generalize to the world  personal interpretation  more focused theme  conclude w/ importance (strength) of argument Intro: -how general or broad -focused intro -straightforward -edit to create focus ---make sure intro and conclusion are relevant +don’t say “in conclusion…” 3.2-Antipholus’s response to Luciana’s lecture 3.2-Luciana’s lecture 1.2-Many characters are looking for/seeking their identity and in doing so they lose themselves. {diction: drop, falling [unknown]} speech is in prose instead of rhyme scheme (only rhyme is referring to Antipholus) so disorganized. 1.1-Duke is met with moral grey area (to black&white response); goes along with identity 02/16 /2016  1990’s realization->Marie’s lais are about achieving justice through Aventure o she creates a world in which justice prevails; makes her imaginary worlds come true (brings them to life) 12th Century (in between Beowulf and Chaucer)->Marie De France: first 6 lays marriage is beside the point->English writer b/c aftermath of Normand conquest (Viking monarchy was integrated into French culture, legal and gov. system)  Marie de France was a noble, educated woman and possibly a nun o assoc. w/ Henry II o there were woman writers at that time o transformation of genres  she writes romance (=anything wrote in spoken language)  suffering romance clerks=male authors; she is very assertive in her copy write, but her work was still stolen these 12 are hers b/c appear together in 1 manuscript -Guigemar *his wound from hunting is a metaphor for the suffering of passion/love; which allows him to be able to feel love: the climax of his wound->conveys him out of solitude b/c it causes him to succumb to the Aventure (=adventure). pg. 48->no aventure w/o choice; must be ready to surrender to. Shows an example of how Marie uses the word aventure. +aventure (the word advent comes from it)  assoc. the boat w/ King Soloman->boat w/ bed is a metaphor o nameless woman is married to an angry jealous old man who traps her in a tower (basically a prison->takes away her life) o so her faith is to go away w/ Guigemar->love happens b/c other ppl  not active/passive but rather medieval times were not prudish--->Marie sees social institution of marriage as secondary to (institution of) love  Aventure in which risk is worth it and turns out well +more honest; -Equitan  planned out the death of the Senechel; argued w/ his wife for “love”; desire to possess Senechel (who is running the kingdom after the King is abdigated) before he even meets her due to her being perceived as attractive o King seen as selfish b/c and their love doesn’t seem real (both Kings can be compared as evil but in Equitan he is the one initiating the love; both are not fulfilling their duties as King; ironic that the first time he enacts justice, it is executed onto himself)  Aventure risk gone wrong  hunting can symbolize the quest for love and suffering; was more suffering before falling in love compared to in today’s society when more suffering happens after -Le Fresne -Bisclavret *will discuss in section***-about warewolf -Lanval *most liked of all her lais because Arthur is in it*  different Arthur than we are used to seeing: instead of being a supreme fair warrior, he is being irresponsible and unfair o Guenivere confesses her love to Lanvant & falsely accuses him Avalon is the land of the fairies in which arthur finds his sword and becomes King but in Marie’s story it is Lanvant who goes up there. -Les Deus Amanz--->the 2 lovers: does it take 2 to get up the hill? It takes 2; love and his vanity is the tragedy. He dies due to his pride and stubbornness in not accepting that ***AVENTURE=>adventure(=arrival that cannot be chosen but rather that one is destined to); the risk associated with it could lead one to their death so the individual must decide for themselves if the risk is worth taking ->difficult to tell difference between real and psychological world in her lit. 02/19/2016- Bisclavret themes  love (noble, romantic, scourned)  romance  selfishness/selflessness  fate (“aventure”)  temporality/place  beauty  reflection  twinning  knowledge can be used for good or evil (has been used for both) 02/23/2016: Comedy of Errors; part 2 [acts 4&5] metaphor of the ship; evident in many stories/texts  twins are separated o many people died in travel at this time in history Anthony Thacher (eye of God picture) -> example of theological +the ship is haunted by tragedy->early modern texts are about England trying to be a part of a global economy and join the rest of the world/further their horizons --->each story has a shipwreck in it w/ significant damages “revenge-gifting”---creates bond of exchanging gifts -maker of the gold chain needs the money because he needs to give it to the sailor who is trying to go to Persia  role of the courtesan (=sex worker, sex business-she is the only woman in the story who works outside of the house) is to make Adriana jealous o marriage was a financial transaction b/c of the dowry given from the wife’s family to the husband’s in that time period. o  parallel between slaves  danger of global economy: that everything & everyone is for sale themes: 1. there is always a risk {in global economy} 1. example: in economy that relies on constant circulation of funds Abess=>is pragmatic, Luciana=> gives (bad) advice on how to have an affair [successfully]  The Duke is supposed to represent God in the play for he holds the law o shows how to purchase the law Hans Holbein’s “The Ambassadors” (pp.151 act 5.1)  the irony that despite what has happened, he still asks for the gold o adds to o laws are arbitrary and capricious  either one pays or is publically beheaded  shows a moral ambiguity [especially in regards to the law] Significance of the abbey ->justice=>is evident of the larger scope of the moral order ---> Shakespeare is showing that people can be possessed (always bad or can sometimes be good?) Saracusans always discuss and bring up witchcraft-> Antipholus gets many free things for being confused w/ the other Antipholus  through misunderstanding and luck whereas the other gets negative consequences for the same Act 4.3->Antipholus of Syracuse Acts of Revenge [way 1 who feels harmed tries to get justice] The Law strives to seek and reach justice Revenge=failure of law to attain justice Act 3.1-> [street credit=ability to get credit on the market]  the gold chain/rope {which makes it all the way to Persia} ->becomes object of alienation, palpable hurt, ect.  Adriana compares herself to gold that has lost its luster due to mistreatment --->everyone is vulnerable to physical harm=>what makes people human commencerability--->can the scales of justice ever actually become equal  the play is both dark and comedic -> find comedy in the irony? the ending shows it is satircal and slightly ambigious (up to interpretation) o the last scene shows the potential for equality in the twins {reads darker than is on stage->shakespeare makes plays to be dramatic in writing but acted out on stage in a more comedic fashion}  the Antipholuss never have a moment where they come together; only the Dromios Dr. Pinch(?)-> does not end positively -In Pericles what circulates is money and sexual diseases}people dying of syphilis 03/01/2016: relation between religion and sexuality ->Marie might have been been the head of a Nun convent ***************humans have always been complicated across time The Questioning of John/Eleanor Rykener (1395)  happened in real-life; the account of a transvestite/transgender person written at the time by a scribe o worked sometimes as an embroideress/sometimes a prostitute o was an object of fascination; no evidence that he was punished  prostitution was legal England at that time, not in London  In Latin, there’s no difference between genders  Human sexuality and gender in Chaucer’s time was different than at Marie de France’s times The Law that first born sons inherit everything was first established in this Era. Mandation of Clerical Celibacy->only started now; started mysogyny  before this, only monks and nuns had to be celebate The beginning of marriage becoming a private sacrament w/ emphasis on mandating mutual consent *Marie de France’s lais show sexuality was healthy; w/o moral condemnation ***characters in lais lack ‘morals’ but come to justice in the end Yonec ->old men were to keep away from pleasure‘dry old man who cannot offer her love +beheading was fair and justified b/c he stole her youth/beauty & killed her hawkman (her lover) ---no representative of the law (is it supposed to be Lord, or King or who?) ---can be seen as female perspective of Lanval Chaitivel  from her perspective: is she doing something wrong w/ 4 lovers (knights) who she has led on but then is not able to choose one ultimately for herself o she’s attracted to all;  the one guy who got wounded at the end, was also selfish  assumption was that she should choose; can she choose another one (5th)->she didn’t propose polyamory o  call it the unfortunate one: not the 4 sorrows  use an Aventure lens ---> Chevrefoil Eliduc  He secretly brings back his true love and surrendered to Aventure; thinking it will be okay. o the wife’s gaze onto the other woman [same sex erroticism]  Marie Lauestic bird died for nothing~briefly reference; compared to swan in MILUN  quote 20 lines: imagery  nightingale [most symbolic of medieval birds] (like he is the lover)- >magicless lai o the wall does not end up symbolizing more  the climax was when she kills and throws the bird at her  a lai of failure  wants to raise the idea that Aventure is not for everyone; it’s only for very passionate people who surrender to it  eco-critical reading:  she states she loves him because he’s close by Milun  why did one end well? were their actions justified b/c they gave in to Aventur?  was it justified? did everything happen how it was supposed to & for a reason? 02/04/2016 How does Marie De France define true love? What she justifies who is deserving of true Aventure FOCUS~how exactly Marie De France decides and justifies who deserves Aventure? How do her lais all fit together to form a sort of unique literary culture and which other Authors were influenced by her?


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