SoSe 16: S-Literatures of Medieval BritainV-Literatures of Medieval Britain:Modernity and Alterity in the Literature of Medieval Britain II: Har(r)y's Wallace
Blind Har[r]y’s Wallace, composed in the 1470s, is an epic romance which deals with the heroic story of Scotland's great fighter for liberty and independence, William Wallace. As noted on the cover ... read more
Blind Har[r]y’s Wallace, composed in the 1470s, is an epic romance which deals with the heroic story of Scotland's great fighter for liberty and independence, William Wallace. As noted on the cover of the latest edition by Anne McKim, 'Blind Harry's poem is not an aristocratic tale of chivalry and nobility, but a vivid account of the vagaries of war and the brutal realities of battle, wounding and betrayal, all seen from the point of view of the troops in the field'. We will consider this work against the background of medieval historiographical romance and compare it with passages from John Barbour's The Bruce (1375), another work which deals with the Wars of Independence (1296-1328), albeit largely from the perspective of the first Scottish king, Robert I, and not that of a guerrilla-fighter of a family of Stewart vassals. Adopting the postcolonial approach to literary studies, we might finally use our findings to evaluate the Hollywood film Braveheart (1995).
Required edition: Blind Harry, The Wallace, edited by Anne McKim (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2003); or: Blind Harry, The Wallace: Selections, edited by Anne McKim (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications, 2003), published as a TEAMS text (http://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/
Language of instruction: English. Required language level: C1-C2.
Each week a passage will be assigned for study at home and discussion in class. All students will be expected to participate in the collective act of interpretation.