A year-long study of Medieval British Literature for high school students. At the Schaeffer Study Center, Cyndy teaches this class for all the 10th graders (after doing Ancient Literature in 9th grade).
The Study begins with Bede (who has a wonderful account of the conversion of the pagan Anglo-Saxons to Christianity) and Anglo-Saxon poetry (in translation). Lessons 3-7 cover Beowulf (using the Rebsamen translation). Lessons 8-11 cover Gawain (using the Tolkien translation). Lessons 12, 13 & 14 cover Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with close readings of the Prologue, the Pardoner’s Tale, and the Wife of Bath’s Tale. Lessons 15-19 cover Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Finally, lessons 20-24 cover Existentialism and the high voltage verbal jousting of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (which uses two minor characters from Hamlet to explore the modern attitudes towards fate and death).
Through all the lessons, the focus is on the biblical worldview (assumed by Bede, Chaucer, & Shakespeare – challenged by Stoppard) and how these great works of literature wrestle with ultimate questions.
The study package includes all six of the texts used by the Greenleaf Guide at the best Amazon prices:
- The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, by the Venerable Bede
- Beowulf, trans. Rebsamen
- Gawain, trans. Tolkien
- Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer
- Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, by Tom Stoppard
- The Greenleaf Guide to Medieval Literature, by Cyndy Shearer