The Department


English Literature


Literary Linguistics











By way of introduction...

The Department of English Literature and  Literary Linguistics carries out its “"mission impossible" of teaching the students how to read and analyze literary texts.


Studying literature should not only equip the students with critical tools which facilitate the  interpretation of texts but also with the knowledge of the world, and thus we can safely assert "mission accomplished".

prof. zw. dr hab. Liliana Sikorska










Presentation of the Members of the Department of English Literature and Literary Linguistics


Professor Liliana Sikorska




1998. with Jacek Fabiszak (eds.). An Anthology of English Literature. From Beowulf to John MiltonPoznań: Rebis. 427 pp.

2000. with Elżbieta Pakszys (eds.). Duchowość i religijność kobiet dawniej i dziś [Women’s spirituality and religiosity – past and present].  Poznań: Wydawnictwo Fundacji Humaniora.  150 pp.

2000. with Grażyna Borkowska (eds.) Krytyka feministyczna: siostra teorii i historii literatury [Feminist criticism: A sister of the theory and history of literature].  Warszawa: Wydawnictwo IBL. 365 pp.

2002. ‘In a manner of morall playe’.  Social Ideologies in English Moralities and Interludes 1350 - 1517 . Frankfurt/Main, New York: Peter Lang Verlag, 312 pp.


2002. An Outline History of English Literature.  (revised and enlarged edition.) Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie. 598 pp.


2004. (ed.) Aspects of Suffering: Classical Themes in Literature in EnglishFrankfurt/Main -  New York: Peter Lang Verlag,  234 pp.


2004. with Marcin Krygier (eds.) For the Loue of Inglis Lede. (Medieval English Mirror 1),  Frankfurt/Main –New York: Peter Lang Verlag. pp 172.


2005. with Marcin Krygier Naked Wordes in Englissh. (Medieval English Mirror 2). Frankfurt/Main –New York: Peter Lang Verlag. pp 197.

2005. (ed.) Ironies of Art/Tragedies of Life. Essays on Irish Literature Frankfurt,/Main, Nowy Jork: Peter Lang Verlag,  300 pp.

2006. (ed.) A universe of (hi)stories. Essays on J.M. Coetzee. Frankfurt,/Main, Nowy Jork: Peter Lang Verlag. 150 pp.

2006. (ed.) A universe of (Hi)Stories. Essays on J.M. Coetzee. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang Verlag. Pp. 152.



1996. "Mankind and the Question of Power Dynamics: Some Aspects of the Validity of Sociolinguistic Reading." Neuphilologische Mitteilungen (Helsinki) 97/2. 201-16.

1996. "Mapping the Problems of Sexual Desire in The Book of Margery Kempe". Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 30. 141-8.

1996. “Talking like a Lady: Some Issues Concerning Women’s Language”. FIPLV World News 38. 11-15.

1996. "Universal vs. Individual: The Tensions of 'Women's Language' in Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Love". Folia Linguistica Historica  17/1-2. 177-86.

1997. "The Seduction of Mankind: Some Remarks on the Validity of Linguistic Analysis", in: Hickey, R. and S. Puppel (eds.).  Language History and Linguistic Modelling: A Festschrift for Jacek Fisiak on His 60th Birthday. Berlin-New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 235-44 .

1997. "The Rhetoric of a Medieval Morality Play: An Exercise in Literary Linguistics". Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny 44. 48-60.

1999. "Writing the Body: Medieval Medical Discourse and the Language of Desire in Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love", in: Edelson, M., Sumera, P. and Uchman, J. (eds.) Proceedings of the 1996 PASE Conference. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego.  115-123.

1999. "S/Textual Desire in Lanval". Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny  46. 319-340.

1999. "The Circle and the Cycle in Samuel Beckett's Morality Plays", in: Świdziński, J. and Fabiszak, J. (eds.) Studia nad literaturami Europejskimi. Księga poświęcona pamięci Profesorowi Henrykowi Zbierskiemu. Poznań: Motivex. 179-202 .

2000. "W poszukiwaniu własnego głosu.  Margery Kempe i autorytet słowa pisanego" [In search of a voice of one’s own: Margery Kempe and the authority of the written word], in: Elżbieta Pakszys i Liliana Sikorska (eds.) Duchowość i religijność dawniej i dziś [Women’s spirituality and religiosity – past and present] .  Poznań: Wydawnictwo Fundacji Humaniora, 97-111.

2000. Liliana Sikorska i Elżbieta Pakszys "Woman's Spirituality and Religiosity - Past and Present", in: Elżbieta Pakszys i Liliana Sikorska (eds.). Duchowość i religijność dawniej i dziś.  Poznań: Wydawnictwo Fundacji Humaniora. 137-148.

2000. "Between Post-Feminism and Feminism: Constructing Textual Femininity in Social Network Analysis", in: Spanberg, Sven-Johan, Henryk Kardela and Gerald Porter (eds.).  The Evidence of Literature.  Interrogating Texts in English Studies.  Lublin: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Press.  205-221.

2000. "Księga Margery Kempe: użycia i nadużycia krytyki feministycznej a badania nad literaturą średniowiecza” [ The Book of Margery Kempe: The use and abuse of feminist criticism and the research on medieval literature], in:  Borkowska, Grażyna i Sikorska Liliana (eds.). Krytyka feministyczna: Siostra teorii i historii literatury [Feminist criticism. A sister of the theory and history of literature].  Warszawa: Wydawnictwo IBL PAN 85-93.

2000."Constructing the Middle Ages in Contemporary Literature and Culture.  The Reading of Iris Murdoch's The Green Knight". Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 35.  258-271.

2000. “Hir not lettyrd: The Use of Interjections, Pragmatic Markers and Whan-Clauses in The Book of Margery Kempe”, in:  Taavitsainen, I., Nevalainen, T. Pahta, P. and Rissanen, M. (eds.).  Placing Middle English in ContextBerlin: Mouton de Gruyter.  391-410.

2001. “The Construction of Power and Pride in the Framework of Political Allegory in     the Middle English  Pride of Life. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 36.265-274.

2002.“Alchemy as Writing - Alchemy and Writing: A Study of Lindsay Clarke’s Chymical Wedding”,  in: Lambert, Alexandra and Schenkel, Elmar  (eds.). The Golden Egg. Alchemy in Art and Literature.  Glienicke/Berlin: Galda + Wilch Verlag. 81-100. 

2002.  "Authority, Femininity and Motherhood in Julian of Norwich's Showings.", in:  Lukas, P. (ed).  Middle English from Tongue to Text: Proceedings from the Third International Conference on Middle English, Dublin 1999.  Frankfurt/Main, New York: Peter Lang Verlag. 281-292.

2002. ”Internal Exile: Dorothea of Montau’s Inward Journey”. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 38: 433-444.

2002.    “Performing the Love of God and the Struggle with the Devil: The “Theatricality” of Medieval Mystical Culture” .  Medieval English Studies  [Seoul, Korea] 10(1):55-72. 

2003.    “The Construction of the Sins of the Flesh as Social Transgressions in Late Medieval Drama”,  in: Jadwiga Uchman and Andrzej Wicher (eds). British Drama through the Ages and Medieval Literature.  Łódź: Wydawnictwo Biblioteka. 153-162.

2003. “Anorektyczki, anachoretki i prostytutki: Kobieta, jej ciało i pozycja społeczna w średniowieczu” [Anorexics, anchoresses and prostitutes: The woman, her body and social position in Middle Ages], in: Pakszys, Elżbieta and Monika Baer (eds.). Obszary kultur kobiecych w badaniach płci/rodzaju [Areas of women’s cultures in gender studies]. Poznań: Humaniora. 23-52.

2003.“Pouring One’s Heart Out: Textual Selves and Their Confessions”. International Journal of Arabic – English Studies  4. 23-52.

2003. “Mapping the Green Knight/Man’s Territory in Lindsey Clarke’s Chymical Wedding”.  The Years Work in Medievalism XII (Eugene, Ore., USA),  97-106.

2004. “Allusion, Influence, Intertextuality - Classical Themes in the Literature in English: By Way of Introduction” , in: Sikorska, Liliana (ed). Aspects of Suffering: Classical Themes in Literature in English. Frankfurt,/Main, New   York: Peter Lang Verlag . 9-22.


2004. “The Journey into the Underworld in the Medieval ‘Harrowing of Hell’ Scenesof the Cycle Plays,” in: Sikorska, Liliana (ed). Aspects of Suffering: Classical Themes in Literature in English. Frankfurt/Main, New York: Peter Lang Verlag.  23-43.

2004. “Imagining Heaven: Visions of bliss in medieval mystical discourse”. W: For the loue of Inglis Lede Medieval English Mirror I. 97-132.

2005. “Tempters and Transgressors: Sins of the Tongue in Medieval and Early Modern Dramatic Discourse”. In: Fisiak, J. and Hye-Kyuong Kang (ed.). Recent Trends in Medieval English Language and Literature. Vol I. Seoul: Thaehaksa:  93-117.

2005. “Medievalism and its Discontents.  Religious Communities in Mervyn Wall’s Fursey novels”. In: Sikorska, Liliana (ed.) Ironies of Art/Tragedies of Life. Essays on Irish Literature. Frankfurt, Main/ New York: Peter Lang Verlag. 71-102.

2005.  “Medieval Confession Manuals and Their Literary (re)Readings.  The case of John Capgrave’s Life of St. Augustine and John Lydgate The Pilgrimage of the Life of Man”.  In: Fisiak Jacek –Akio Oizumi—John Scaghill (ed).  Text and language in medieval English prose. A Festschrift for Tadao Kubouchi. Frankfurt,/Main, Nowy Jork: Peter Lang Verlag. 237-254.

2005. “In the Labyrinth of Life: St. Augustine’s Quests and Margery Kempe’s Pilgrimages” Naked Wordes in EnglisshMedieval English Mirror II. 137-157.

2006. “Michael K’s Odyssey:  Displacement and Wandering in the Context of Medieval Concept of homo viator in J.M. Coetzee’s Life and times of Michael K. W: Sikorska, Liliana (ed.). A Universe of (Hi)stories. Essays on J.M. CoetzeeFrankfurt,/Main, Nowy Jork: Peter Lang Verlag. 87-109.

2006. “The Chastising of a Bad King: the Interplay of the Didactic and the Adventurous in Robert of Cisyle.”  In: Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K. (ed.). Ifatuation: A Festschrift for Professor Jacek Fisiak on the occasion of his 70th birthday. 625-642.













Professor Jacek Fabiszak





1998. Sikorska, Liliana and Jacek Fabiszak (eds.) An anthology of English literature. Volume One: From Beowulf to John Milton. Poznań: Rebis. Pp. 427.

2001. Shakespeare’s drama of social roles. Character grouping in the Last Plays. Piła: na zlecenie Wyższej Szkoły Biznesu. Pp. 215.

2003. Gibińska, Marta, Marta Kapera and Jacek Fabiszak. Szekspir. Leksykon. Kraków: Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. Pp. 264.

2004. Fabiszak, Jacek, Marta Gibińska and Ewa Nawrocka (eds.) Czytanie Szekspira. Gdańsk: słowo/obraz terytoria.

2005. Polish Televised Shakespeares. A Study of Shakespeare Productions within the Television Theatre Format. Poznań: Motivex. Pp. 318.



1995. “The (inter-)theatricality of Marlovian prologues.” Studia Anglica Posnaniensia XXIX. 189-197.

1997. “Hamlet’s and Hamlet’s audiences.” In: Raymond Hickey and Stanisław Puppel (eds.) Language history and linguistic modelling: A festschrift for Jacek Fisiak on his 60th birthday. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 1961-72.

1999. Świdziński, Jerzy and Jacek Fabiszak (eds.) Studia nad literaturami europejskimi. Księga poświęcona pamięci Profesora dr. hab. Henryka Zbierskiego (Studies in European literatures. Essays in memory of Professor Henryk Zbierski). Poznań: Motivex. Pp. 279.

2000. “Elizabethan Staging and Greenawayan Filming in Prospero’s Books.” In: Stalpaert, Christel (ed.) Peter Greenaway’s ‘Prospero’s Books’: Critical Essays. Ghent: Academia Press. 121-39.

2003. “ ‘Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men’: Persuasion in Shakespeare’s Plays.” In: Burzyńska, Joanna and Danuta Stanulewicz (eds.) PASE Papers in Literature and Culture. Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference of the Polish Association for the Study of English, Gdańsk, 26-28 April 2000. Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego. 109-114.

2004. “The Uses of Classical Imagery in Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II.” In: Sikorska, Liliana (ed.) Aspects of Suffering: Classical Themes in English Literature. Frankfurt am Main: Lang Verlag. 63-86.

2004.    “Almereyda’s Hamlet, or the Art of Visual Silence.” Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny LI (4). 353-360.

2005.    Are we being politically correct yet? The fortunes of Michael Radford's 2004 The Merchant of Venice and Shakespearean text. Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny LII (4): 288-300.

2006.    Images of conflict in Shakespeare's Henry VI: A cognitive approach.” In: Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K. (ed.)  IFAtuation: A Life in IFA. A Festschrift for Professor Jacek Fisiak on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 261-80.

2007.    The homoerotic in two screen versions of Marlowe's {Edward II}.” In: Kazik, Joanna (ed.)  Studies in English Drama and Poetry. Vol. 1: Reading English Drama and Poetry Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 113-124.
















Dr Ryszard Bartnik



Research interests:


·         contemporary literature in English




2002. "Angela Carter's use of the Lacanian 'Mirror Image' as a depiction of an illusory identity". (In:) Witalisz, W. -- Leese, P. (eds) Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference of the Polish Association for the Study of English, Kraków April 2001, Kraków: Uniwersytet Jagielloński, 263-9.

2004. "Tropes of the classical 'passage through hell' in the works of twentieth century writers". (In:) Sikorska, L. (ed) Aspects of suffering: Classical themes in English literature, Frankfurt am Main-New York: Lang Verlag, 215-34.

 2005. "The comic and the tragic in the drama of Irish belonging in Frank McCourt's and Dermot Healy's autobiographies". (In:) Sikorska, L. (ed.) Ironies of art/tragedies of life. Essays on Irish literature, Peter Lang Verlag: Frankfurt/am Main, 153-76.

 2005. "Writing allegory in the twentieth century. William Golding's Rites of passage as a moral quest". Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny: 143-50.

 2006. ""Look back in anger": Postcolonial (re)reading of adventure novels: R. M. Ballantyne's The coral island and R. L. Stevenson's Treasure island". (In:) Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K. (ed.) IFAtuation: A Life in IFA. A Festschrift for Professor Jacek Fisiak on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday, Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 61-9.

2006. "The politics of engagement in J. M. Coetzee's Foe and In the heart of the country". (In:) Sikorska, L. (ed.) A Universe of (Hi)stories. Essays on J.M. Coetzee, Frankurt Am Main: Lang Verlag, 45-59.

2007. Human decency questioned. Conradian legacy mirrored in twentieth-century English literature.” In: Wąsik, Z.; Ciuk, A. (eds.)  For the Love of the Embedded Word in Society, Culture and Education (Philologica Wratislaviensia: Acta et Studia No 1. Wyższa Szkoła Filologiczna we Wrocławiu) Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, 111-119.












Dr Dagmara Krzyżaniak


Research interests:

·        contemporary British theater and drama

·        Contemporary Irish Drama

·        film studies


2000. “Przemoc słowna w The Birthday Party Harolda Pintera”. (In:) Borkowska, G. – Sikorska, L. (eds) Krytyka feministyczna. Siostra teorii i historii literatury, Warszawa: Instytut Badań literackich, 55-68.

2003. “A sociolinguistic reading of Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter”, Kwartalinik Neofilologiczny XLIX, 4/2002 :375-382.

2003. “Aspects of classical tragedy in Edward Bond’s The Woman". (In:) Sikorska, L. (ed) Aspects of Suffering: Classical Themes in English Literature, Frankfurt Am Main: Lang Verlag, 199-214.

2003. “Sociolinguistics and the Reading of Contemporary Plays”. (In:) Burzyńska, J. – Stanulewicz, D. (eds) PASE Papers in Literature and Culture. Proceedings of the 9th Annual Conference of the Polish Society for the Study of English. Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego.

2005. “From heresy to sainthood. Joan of Arc’s quest for identity in Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan”, Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 41, 289-295.

2005. ”A disrupted family in a troubled country. A sociolinguistic insight into the domestic/national crises in the works of two Irish playwrights (Sean O’Casey and Martin McDonagh)”. (In:) Sikorska, L. (ed.) Ironies of art/tragedies of life, Frankfurt Am Main: Lang Verlag, 195-213.







Dr Joanna Maciulewicz

Research interests: 

·        the history and theory of the novel

·        eighteenth-century literature (high and popular)

·        theory of genres.



2000.           “In the Space Between History And Fiction -the role of Walter Scott’s Fictional Prefaces”, Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 37, 387-395.

2001.       “The Historical Novel and the Transformation of Historiography - An Attempt at the Redefinition of the Genre”. (In:) Burzyńska, J. – Stanulewicz, D.(eds.) PASE Papers in Literature and Culture, Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego, 243-247.

2002.                    “From the epic to the historical novel: the transition from the epic to the novelistic tradition in Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley in: Aspects of Suffering: Classical Themes in Literature in English” (edited by Liliana Sikorska). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag, 87-105.

2005.                    “Dialogic encounter of cultures in Castle Rackrent and The absentee by Maria Edgeworth and in The wild Irish girl by Lady Morgan”, in Sikorska L. (ed.) Ironies of art / tragedies of life. Essays on Irish literature. Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang.

2005.  Knights-errantry of the twentieth century in Graham Green's {Monsignor Quixote}. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 41: 261-68.

2005. Daniel Defoe's indebtedness to romance conventions in his novels and quasi-historical narratives. Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny LI (4/2004) 345-51.

2006. (with Agnieszka Setecka) Pickwick's journeys and adventures: From the eighteenth century to the Victorian Age.” In: Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K. (ed.)  IFAtuation: A Life in IFA. A Festschrift for Professor Jacek Fisiak on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 589-602.












Dr Agnieszka Setecka

Research interests: 

·        Victorian literature and culture

·        the history of women's literature

·        Australian literature.



2003.  “Reconstructing the past: Sherlock Holmes and his postmodern successors” (In:) Bela, T. – Mazur, Z (eds) The legacy of history. English and American studies and the significance of the past. Vol. 1: Literature. Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press, 252-270.

 2003.  “The Victorian Age revisited.” (In:) Burzyńska, J – Stanulewicz, D (eds.) Papers in literature and culture. Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference of the Polish Association for the Study of English. Gdańsk 26-28 April 2000. Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego, 361-367.

 2003. “ ‘Of ants and men’: Darwin’s theories in A.S. Byatt’s Morpho Eugenia” (In:) Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny, 4, 479-488.

 2004. “Between the mundane and the mythical: Victorian female characters and their mythical counterparts” in: Sikorska L. (ed) Aspects of suffering. Classical themes in literature in English. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang, 106-130.

 2004.  “Courtly love in the world ‘without a hero’: W. M. Thackeray’s Vanity Fair” (In:) Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 40, 311-322.

 2004. “The ghosts of the past: Alfred Tennyson's life story in A. S. Byatt’s ‘The conjugial angel’” (in:) International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, 5, 5-18.

 2005. “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Uncle Silas and John Banville’s The book of evidence: two narratives of crime” (In:) Sikorska, L. (ed.) 2005. Ironies of art/tragedies of life. Essays on Irish literature. Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang Verlag.

 2005. “Victorian quest in a medieval romance: Alfred Tennyson’s ‘Enid.’” (In:) Studia Anglica Posnaniensa, 41, 251-259.

2006.                    (with Joanna Maciulewicz) “Pickwick’s journeys and adventures: From the eighteenth century to the Victorian Age.” (In:) Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kołaczyk (ed.) IFAtuation: A life in IFA. A festshrift for Professor Jacek Fisiak on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM.

2006.      “Caught in someone else’s plot: The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark.” In: Fisiak, Jacek (ed.)  English language, literature and culture. Selected papers from the 13th PASE conference Poznań 2004 Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 155-162.






Phd Students


Katarzyna Bronk, M.A.

Marcin Cieniuch, M.A.

Paulina Henska, M.A.

Łukasz Hudomięt, M.A.

Urszula Kizelbach, M.A.

Małgorzata Milczarek, M.A.

Jacek Olesiejko, M.A.













Reading Lists for English Literature Classes



Reading List for English Literature Year I


Old English Literature


Elegies: "The Wonderer", "The Seafarer", "Deor's Lament"

Charms: "Charm for Unfruitful Land", “For a swarm of Bees”

The Dream of the Rood

       Supplementary List


“The Wife’s Lament”

“The Husband’s Message”

“The Lover’s Message”

“The Battle of Maldon”

selection of riddles


Middle English Literature

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales  (The General Prologue and the Knights Tale and the Miller’s tale)

English Medieval Drama: Everyman or Mankind


                                               Supplementary List[1]

                                       Layamon: Brut (fragments)

Marie de France: Lais de Lanval

John Gower: Confessio Amantis (fragments)

William Langland Piers Plowman (fragments)

Thomas Malory: Morte d’Arthur (fragments)

Julian of Norwich: Showings of Divine Love (fragments)

Margery Kempe: The Book of Margery Kempe (fragments)

Chester or York Mystery cycle (selected scenes)

Mundus et Infans

John Skelton Magnificence


Renaissance Literature

Thomas Kyd: The Spanish Tragedy

Christopher Marlowe: Dr Faustus

Thomas Wyatt: selected sonnets

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey: selected sonnets

Edmund Spenser Amoretti (selected sonnets)

William Shakespeare: Sonnets (2, 18, 20, 55, 73, 106, 116, 130, 136, 141, 144, 147)

William Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing or As You Like It or Mid Summer's Night Dream.

William Shakespeare: Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, The Tempest, Julius Caesar

Ben Jonson: Volpone

Philip Sidney: Apology for Poetry (fragments), selected poems



Metaphysical poetry:


John Donne:  "Valediction: Forbidden Mourning", "The Flea", "Elegy XIX", "The Anniversary"

George Herbert:  "The Collar", "The Pearl"



Cavalier Poetry:


Robert Herrick: “The Hock-cart, or Harvest Home”, “The Argument of His Book”

Richard Crashaw: “The Weeper”, “The Flaming Heart” 

Andrew Marvell: "To His Coy Mistress",  "The Definition of Love"



Supplementary List

Christopher Marlowe: Hero and Leander (fragments)

Edmund Spencer: The Fairie Queen (Canto I from “The First Book”)

John Milton: Paradise Lost (Books I and II)

Thomas Heywood: The Four P’s

John Lyly: Endimion, Eupheus (fragments)

William Shakespeare: Henry IV, Measure for Measure

Ben Jonson: Bartholomew Fair

Thomas Dekker: Shoemaker’s Holiday

John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi

Thomas More: Utopia (fragments)

John Donne: Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (“Meditation XVII”)



Augustan Classicism

Alexander Pope: Essay on Criticism (fragments), The Rape of the Lock



The beginnings of the novel:


Daniel Dafoe: Robinson Crusoe

Jonathan Swift: Guliver's Travels

Samuel Richardson: Pamela (fragments)

Henry Fielding: Tom Jones (fragments)

Lawrence Sterne: Tristram Shandy

One selected gothic novel: Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto, Anne Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolfo, Matthew Gregory Lewis The Monk: Mary Shelley: Frankenstein


Supplementary List

John Bunyan: Pilgrim’s Progress

Daniel Defoe: Moll Flanders, A Journal of the Plague Year

Laurence Sterne: A Sentimental Journey

Tobias Smollett: The Expedition of Peregrine Pickle




Robert Burns:  "To a Mouse",  "Auld Lang Syne", "Tam O'Shanter"

William Blake: "The Lamb", "The Tyger", "The Little Vagabond", "Holy Thursday", "The Chimney Sweeper"  (both from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience)

Horace Walpole  The Castle of Otranto (fragments)

Ann Radcliffe Mysteries of Udolpho (fragments)





Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice

William Wordsworth: "The preface to Lyrical Ballads", "We are Seven", Tintern  Abbey",  "Lines Written in Early Spring" "The Prelude"- part I.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "Kubhla Khan"  Biografia Literaria –chapter XIV

George Gordon Byron: Don Juan cantos I, II, X, XI  "When we Two Parted"

Percy Byssie  Shelley: "Ode to the West Wind", "The Cloud"

John Keats:  "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode to a Grecian Urn"


Supplementary List

Marie Edgeworth: Castle Rackrent

Fanny Burney: Evelina

Matthew Lewis: The Monk

William Beckford: Vathek

Walter Scott: Waverley

James Hogg: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner


Victorian Literature:

Charles Dickens: Hard Times or Great Expectations

William Makepeace Thackerey: Vanity Fair

George Eliot: Mill on the Floss

Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights

Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre


                               Supplementary List:

Sheridan Le Fanu: Uncle Silas

Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist, Little Dorritt

Anthony Trollope: The Warden

Anne Brontë: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Elizabeth Gaskell: Mary Barton

Mary Elizabeth Braddon: Lady Audley’s Secret, Aurora Floyd

Wilkie Collins: Woman in White



Alfred Tennyson: In Memoriam (selected poems), "The Lady of Shalott," "Ulysses"

Robert Browning: "My Last Duchess", "Parting at morning"  

Elizabeth Barrett Browning "How do I love thee?", "I thought once how"

Algernon Charles Swinburne: "Chorus: When the Hounds of Spring"

The pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood:

Dante Gabriel Rosetti:  "The Blessed Damozel" , "Sonnet"

Christina Rosetti: "Remember", "Uphill", "Echo", "Goblin Market"

Gerald Manley Hopkins: "Pied Beauty", "The Windhover", "God's Grandeur", "I wake and Feel the Fell of Dark Not Day".


Reading list for English Literature II


Late Victorian Literature

Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Grey

William Butler Yeats: "Sailing to Byzantium", "The Second Coming", "Easter 1916"

T.S. Eliot: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Proofrock", The Waste Land.

The Great War Literature (the presentation of the chosen war poets): Winfried Owen, Sigfried Sasoon, Rupert Brooke.

Imagism: Ezra Pound

Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles or Jude the Obscure

Joseph Conrad: Heart of the Darkness, Lord Jim


Literature 1910-1945


W.H.Auden: "Spain 1937", "The Shield of Achilles", “Funeral Blues”

Dylan Thomas: "Author's Prologue",  "Fern Hill"

D.H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers

Virginia Woolf: To the Lighthouse or Mrs Dalloway

James Joyce: The Dubliners, A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses

E.M. Foster: A Passage to India


                           Supplementary List

Thomas Hardy Far From the Madding Crowd

Joseph Conrad Lord Jim

Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest

G.B. Shaw Mrs Warren’s Profession, Pygmalion

H.G. Wells: The Time Machine, or The History of Mr Polly or Kipps

Rudyard Kipling Kim

D.H. Lawrence Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Women in Love

E.M. Forster A Room with a View, Maurice

Flan O’Brien At Swim Two Birds

Aldous Huxley Brave New World, Point Counter Point

Evelyn Waugh Decline and Fall, Brideshead Revisited

Christopher Isherwood Goodbye to Berlin

George Orwell Nineteen Eighty Four, Shooting an Elephant

Anthony Powell A Question of Upbringing


Literature after 1945


Philip Larkin: "Church going", "Next Please", "The Whitsun Weddings", ”Mr Bleaney”

William Golding: The Lord of the Flies

Kinsley Amis: Lucky Jim

Iris Murdoch: The Unicorn

John Fowles: The French Lieutenant Woman, The Magus

Muriel Spark: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie


Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot, Endgame 

Harold Pinter: “The Dumb Waiter”, “The Birthday Party”


Supplementary List

Harold Pinter: The Homecoming

Caryl Churchull: Vinegar Tom, Cloud Nine

Edward Bond: Lear, Saved

Tom Stoppard: Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead, The Real Inspector Hound

Sarah Kane 4.48. Psychosis



Contemporary Fiction

Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus or The Bloody Chamber

J. M. Coetzee Foe                     

David Lodge: Small World or Nice Work

Ian McEwan: The Cement Garden or The Atonement

Salman Rushdie: Midnight's Children

Martin Amis: Time’s Arrow

Supplementary List

Malcolm Bradbury: The History Man

Joyce Cary The Horse’s Mouth

J.M. Coetzee Disgrace

John Fowles The Collector

William Golding The Inheritors, The Rites of Passage

Graham Greene The Heart of the Matter , The Quiet American

Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea

J.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings

Peter Acroyd Chatterton

Julian Barnes: Flaubert’s Parrot

Anita Brookner Fraud

A.S. Byatt Posession

Alsdair Grey: Unlikely Stories, Mostly

Hanif Kureishi: The Buddha of Suburbia

David Lodge, The British Museum is Falling Down

Salman Rushdie: Satanic Verses

Jeanette Winterson Oranges are not the Only Fruit, The Passion









Lecture and Classes Topics for Years I and II

Lecture topics Year I


1.   Old English Literature

·        Features of Anglo-Saxon culture and poetry

·        Secular literature: war poems, love poetry, elegies, charms and riddles

·        Old English Epic: Beowulf 


2.   Old English Religious literature

·        Saints’ lives

·        The dream of the Rood

·        The Work of Caedmon (c. 650-800)

·        The work of Cynewulf (late 8th c.)

·        Bede Venerabilis

·        Anglo-Saxon prose


3.   Middle English Secular Literature

·        historical background – the Norman Conquest, influences of Norman language, culture and literature

·        the medieval romance (sources of medieval romance, subject matter, the Arthurian cycle, legends; characteristic features of romance; most frequent motifs, style); chanson de gestes, lays

·        Social origins of courtly love (social position of women in the feudal aristocracy; marriage as a political act; courtly love)

·        chivalric tradition; a romance hero and his code of behaviour (moral vs. physical strength, chivalric code)

·        Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as an example of courtly literature

·        The work of Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400)

·        Bestiary, The owl and the nightingale

·        The work of William Langland (c. 1330-1400)

·        The work of John Gower (1325-1408)


4.   Middle English Religious Literature

·        Confession manuals

·        Poema morale, Cursor mundi

·        Religious prose: Ancrene Wisse

·        Mystical literature

·        15th century poetry


5.   Medieval Drama

·        Biblical cycles

·        Morality plays

·        Moral interludes


6.   Renaissance Poetry

·        Phillip Sidney: Apology for Poetry.

·        Renaissance views on poetry, poetry as ‘speaking pictures’, poetry’s aims, a poet vs. philosopher vs. historian.

·        The history of the sonnet:  Thomas Wyatt: selected sonnets; Henry Howard, earl of Surrey selected sonnets; Edmund Spenser selected sonnets, Phillip Sidney selected sonnets, William Shakespeare: selected sonnets

·        Pastoral poetry

·        Edmund Spenser Fairy Queene


7.   Renaissance drama

·        The idea of the theatre in the Renaissance culture

·        The works of Thomas Kyd and Christopher Marlowe  

·        Revenge tragedy and politics


8.   Renaissance comedy

·        the concept of comedy (the definition, romantic comedy, idyll, pastoral, comedy vs. tragedy)

·        Sources of Elizabethan comedy (folklore, pagan traditions, medieval interludes, antique comedy etc.)

·        Sources of comic effects in Shakespeare’s comedies (tragic elements in Shakespearean comedy)

·        Satire, farce, social comedy, comedy of humors, citizen comedy, burlesque


9.   Renaissance tragedy, history play and tragicomedy

·        tragedy (definition of a tragedy, influence of Seneca, revenge tragedies; dramatic irony, hamartia, catharsis, comic relief)

·        history play vs tragedy

·        tragicomedy (the definition of a tragicomedy, tragic and comic elements, the ending of the play)


10.         Religious aspects of metaphysical poetry

11.         The Puritan Literature

·        Robert Burton

·        John Bunyan

·        Diarists: Samuel Pepys

·        The poetry of John Milton


12.         The Restoration

·        The poetry of John Wilmot, earl of Rochester

·        The poetry and criticism of John Dryden

·        Restoration theater and drama


13.         The Age of Reason [The Enlightenment, Neoclassicism]

·        The work of Samuel Johnson

·        The poetry of Alexander Pope

·        Early novels


14.         The beginning of the novel (I)


15.         The beginning of the novel (II)

·        John Cleland

·        Jonathan Swift

·        Laurence Sterne

·        Tobias Smollett

·        Charlotte Lennox


16.         Pre-Romanticism

·        The poetry of William Blake

·        Antiquaries: Thomas Percy

·        Poets-forgers: James Macpherson, Thomas Chatterton

·        National(istic poetry) Robert Burns


17.         The Gothic Novel

·        Definition of the Gothic, Edmund Burke’s definition of the sublime

·        Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto

·        William Beckford’s Vathek

·        The novels of Ann Radcliffe

·        Matthew Lewis The Monk

·        Robert Maturin Melmoth the Wanderer

·        Mary Shelley Frankenstein


18.         Introduction to Romanticsm. Romantic novel

a)   novel of manners: Jane Austen, Fanny Burney

b)   novel with necessitarian plot: William Godwin

c)   sentimentalism: Oliver Goldsmith

d)   historical novel: Walter Scott


19.         Social and philosophical background of Victorianism

·        utilitarianism

·        realism

·        Victorian morality

·        the changing world of Victorian literature


20.         Victorian Novel: Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackerey

·        imperialism in Victorian novel

·        economic conditions of different social classes as reflected in Victorian novel

·        The Brontë’s Sisters, George Eliot, the sensation novel.

·        gothic elements in Victorian novel

·        the Romantic heritage


21.         Victorian Poetry

a)   the image of the poet

b)   medievalism of Victorian poetry

c)   dramatic monologue

d)   attitudes to nature

e)   Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: painting and poetry



Classes Topics Year I

Winter semester


1.                                       Old English poetry: “The Wanderer”, “The Seafarer”, “Deor’s Lament”, selected riddles, selected charms, The Dream of the Rood

2.                                       Beowulf (fragments)

3.                                       Middle English literature: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

4.                                       Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales: “The General Prologue”, “The Knight’s Tale”, “Miller’s Tale”

5.                                       English medieval drama: York Mystery play (fragment) Mundus et Infans.

6.                                       Christopher Marlowe: Dr Faustus

7.                                       Phillip Sidney: Apology for Poetry. Thomas Wyatt: selected sonnets; Henry Howard, earl of Surrey: selected sonnets; Edmund Spenser selected sonnets, Phillip Sidney selected sonnets, William Shakespeare: selected sonnets

8.                                       William Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing and As you Like It or Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Ben Jonson Volpone (fragmenty)

9.                                       William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Thomas Kyd: The Spanish Tragedy (fragments),  John Webster Duches of Malfi (final death scene)

10.                                 William Shakespeare: King Lear, Henry V (fragments), Julius Caesar (fragments)

11.                                 William Shakespeare The Tempest

12.                                 Final test

13.           17th century poetry: metaphysical poetry: John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell,

                John Milton Paradise Lost (fragments)


Summer semester


1.  Alexander Pope: Essay on Criticism (fragments), The Rape of the Lock


2.   Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe. Jonathan Swift Gulliver’s Travels    (fragments)

3.               Henry Fielding Tom Jones (fragments)

4.  Laurence Sterne Tristram Shandy (fragments), Samuel Richardson Pamela (fragments)

5.   Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto (fragments), Ann Radcliffe The Mysteries of Udolpho, Matthew Lewis The Monk (fragments)

6.   Pre-Romantic poetry: Robert Burns: “To a Mouse”, “Auld Lang  Syne”, “Tam O’Shanter”; Thomas Gray: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard”; William Blake: “The Lamb, “The Tyger”, “The Little Vogabond, “Holy Thursday”, “The Chimney Sweeper” (both from Songs of experience and Songs of innocence).

7.   Romantic poetry: William Wordsworth: “The Preface to Lyrical Ballads”, “We Are Seven”, “Tintern Abbey”, “Lines Written in Early Spring”,

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, “Kubla Khan”

8.   George Gordon Byron: “When We Two Parted”, Don Juan: cantos I, II,

X,XI; Percy Byssie Shelley: “Ode to the West Wind”, “The Cloud”;

John Keats: “Ode to a Nightingale”, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

9.   Historical novel: Walter Scott: Waverley

10.   Victorian Literature: Charles Dickens: Hard Times or Great Expectations

11.   William Makepeace Thackeray: Vanity Fair (fragments)

12.   Test. Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights

13.   Victorian poetry: Alfred Tennyson: In Memoriam (selected poems), “The Lady of Shalott”, “Ulysses”; Robert Browning: “My Last Duchess”;

Elizabeth Barret Browning: “How do I Love Thee?”, “I thought Once How”; Gerald Manley Hopkins: “Pied Beauty”, “The Windhoover”, God’s Grandeur”, “I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark Not Day”.

13.   Pre-Raphaelite Poetry: Dante Gabriel Rosetti “The Blessed Damozel”  , Christina Rosetti, “Goblin Market”.


Lecture topics Year II

1. Late Victorian and Edwardian periods. New trends in literature:


2.               Modernism: social and intellectual background

·        development of new sciences

·        modernism as a major movement in literature and art

·        the influence of war on literature


3.               The birth of Modern Poetry

·        rejection of the romantic tradition [from the Georgians to Imagists]

·        war poetry, T.S Eliot as a neoclassical modernist; symbolism

·        innovative elements in Yeat’s poetry.


4.               Drama of the beginning of the twentieth century and the Irish Twilight


5.               The birth of the Modern Novel

·        Conrad and his pessimistic vision of humanity, moral visions

·        Colonial themes, criticism of imperialism,

·        Narrative experiment


6.               ‘Heroic’ generation of modernists

·        D. H. Lawrence and the influence of Freud, failures and successes of relationships, Oedipal situation, human sexuality

·        presentation of working class life.


7.               (cont.)


8.               (cont.)

·        James Joyce: universl symbolism, intertextuality

·        relations between art and life

·        epiphanies and dialectic organisation in his short stories and novels

·        linguistic carnival: modernistic experiment pushed to the extreme

·        representation of Ireland in Joyce’s fiction,

·        Kunstlerroman and Bildungsroman.


9.               (cont.)

·        Virginia Woolf: Bloomsbury Group

·        feminist awareness, female characters, androgyny

·        stream of consciousness, experiments with narration, new treatment of time and space


10.         Depression and War;

·        poets of the 1930s and their political commitment: W.H. Auden: his vision of the thirties as a “low dishonest decade”; Dylan Thomas and defamiliarisation of language, S. Spender, Louis McNeice

·        the novel: A. Huxley, E. Waugh, G. Greene, G. Orwell


11.         Twentieth-century theatre:

·        Angry Young Men (Osborne, Wesker)

·        Theatre of the Absurd, Theatre of Menace (Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter)


12.         From the 1950s to the 1990s

·        poetry: P. Larkin, S. Heaney

·        fiction: Kingsley Amis, Iris Murdoch; M. Spark, A. Burgess


13.         (cont.)

·        the postmodern novel, intertextuality, the use of history and literature, postcolonial literature, feminism;

·        John Fowles, M. Bradbury, D. Lodge, M. Drabble, J. Barnes, A.S. Byatt, Ian McEwan, A. Carter, Jeanette Winterson, S. Rushdie etc).



Classes topics for Year II


Winter semester


1. William Butler Yeats: ‘’Sailing to Byzantium’’, ‘’The Second Coming’’, ‘’Easter 1916’’

-Irish themes in William Butler Yeats’ poetry

-the treatment of past and tradition

The Great War Literature: Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves

-Edwardian influences

-poetry of traumatic experiences


2. Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

-art. and life in fin de siecle


Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D’Urbervilles or Jude the Obscure

-the last of  the Victorians

-the clash between pre-industrial and industrial morality


3. T.S. Eliot: ‘’The Love Song of J. Alfred Proofrock’’, The Waste Land

-symbolism in The Waste Land

-indictment of the twentieth century civilization

-struggle for impersonality, objective correlative

-T.S. Eliot as a neoclassical modernist

Ezra Pound: chosen poems


-modernistic use of language


4.   Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness

-moral visions, Conrad as a moralist of exile

-narrative experiment

-psychological complexities of his writing

E.M. Forster: A Passage to India or J.M. Coetzee Foe

-triangular structure and connection in E.M. Forster’s novel

-the meeting of East and West

-colonial subjects and the image of British Empire


5. W.H.Auden: ‘’Spain 1937’’, ‘’The Shield of Achilles’’

-love and menace in Auden’s poetry

-the vision of the thirties as a ‘’low dishonest decade’’

Dylan Thomas: ‘’Author’s Prologue’’, ‘’Fern Hill’’

-defamiliarization of language

-the role of nature


6. D.H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers,  Lady Chatterley’s Lover  (fragments)

-success and failure of human relationships

-Freudian echoes

-nature and human nature as interdependent


7. Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse (fragments)

-the narrative experiment [interior narration]

-the use of time and space

-female characters and their significance


8. James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses [Molly’s monologue], Dubliners [chosen stories]

-Dublin as the epicenter of Joyce’s writing

-art and life in A Portrait....

-the concept of epiphany

-stream of consciousness


9. William Golding: Lord of the Flies,

-allegory and regression

-moral and psychological implications

-pessimistic vision of the evolutionary progress


10. Kingsley Amis: Lucky Jim (fragments)

-comic presentation of the academic world

-Amis as a representative of the Angry Young Men movement

John Osborne: Look Back in Anger

-social contexts of his plays

-rebellion in its dramatic form


11. John Fowles: The French Lieutenant’s  Woman,  Angela Carter The Bloody Chamber

-the question of post-modern novel

-forms of narration

-intertexuality; the use of history and literature


12. Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot, Engame

-the theater of the absurd

-metaphysical despair

-insufficiency of language


Harold Pinter: The Dumb Waiter

-Pinterian theater of the absurd

-the drama of menace


13. Final Test

Contemporary Poetry: Philip Larkin: ‘’Church going’’, ‘’Next Please’’, ‘’The Witsun Weddings’’

-transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary

-relationship between victor and victim, order and disorder, or predator and prey

Craig Raine Martian Poetry

Discussion upon contemporary novels chosen and read individually by each of the students

Contemporary fiction:

        Martin Amis: Success, Time’s Arrow

Julian Barnes: A History of the World in 10 ½  Days, Metroland

        Anita Brookner: Fraud, Family and Friends

Angela Carter: The Bloody Chamber, Love

Doris Lessing: The Grass is Singing, The Summer Before the Dark

David Lodge: Nice Work, The British Museum is Falling Down

Ian McEwan: The Cement Garden, The Innocent

Salman Rushdie: Satanic Verses, Midnight’s Children

        Graham Swift: Last Orders, The Waterland

Jeanette Winterson: The Passion, Sexing the Cherry






Essay topics for Year I


1.   Loss and consolation in Old English Laments and Tennyson’s In Memoriam.

2.   The hero in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

3.   Compare epic and romance on the basis of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

4.   The motif of Fall and Redemption in Mundus et Infans and Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”.

5.   Faustian motif of dangerous knowledge Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

6.    The Goddess and the Temptress in medieval literature (Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale” and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) and Renaissance Sonnets.

7.   The role of art in poetry (Keats, Pre-Raphaelites).

8.   The aesthetics of death in the Renaissance revenge/persecution tragedy.

9.   Pastoral elements in Shakespearian comedies.

10.         Madness as a theatrical device in Shakespeare’s tragedies.

11.         Demonic characters in the Gothic novel and afterwards.

12.         Crime in fiction (Victorian novel).

13.         Imperialism in Victorian Fiction.

14.         Medievalism in Victorian poetry.

15.         Gulliver’s Travels and Vanity Fair two satirical representations of English society.

16.         Author’s commentary on love and marriage in “Wife of Bath’s Prologue” and Jane Eyre. 

17.         Images of children and childhood in Romantic and Victorian poetry.

18.         Forms of narration (the role of the narrator) in Tom Jones, Tristram Shandy and Wuthering Heights.

19.         Nature methodized vs. wild nature in Augustan and Romantic poetry.

20.         The Early novel’s reliance on various forms of historical discourse.

21.         Romantic irony: the role of digressions in Byron’s Don Juan.

22.         How does The Rape of the Lock mock the epic conventions?

23.         The role of the supernatural in drama and fiction.

24.         The Dream vision in medieval and in Victorian poetry.

25.         Anglo-Saxon values in Old English poetry.

26.         Pagan and Christian elements in Old English poetry.

27.         Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as two examples of courtly literature.

28.         The motif of the quest in Middle English literature: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Everyman.

29.         Morality plays – an expression of medieval moral and social concerns.

30.         A fabliau and a romance: two medieval genres.

31.         Two ways of character drawing: The Canterbury Tales and Great Expectations.

32.         Love and time in Shakespeare's sonnets and metaphysical poetry.

33.         The function of the supernatural in medieval romance and Shakespearean drama.

34.         Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy and the morality of revenge. The role of sub-plot in Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus and Shakespeare’s King Lear.

35.         Madness in King Lear and Hamlet.

36.         Caliban and Friday – two representatives of the colonial ‘other’.

37.         Pope’s Essay on Criticism and the romantic poetry: two different views on Nature.

38.         The supernatural and the real in romantic poetry.

39.          Tom Jones and Tristram Shandy – two self-conscious novels.

40.         Robinson Crusoe as the representative of the rising bourgeoisie.

41.         Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels: a critique of the English society.

42.         Romantic view on the role of the poet and poetry.

43.          Children and their vision of the world in Romantic poetry.

44.         Gothic tradition in Victorian novels.

45.         Fascination with the Middle Ages in Victorian poetry.

46.         The evils of the nineteenth-century world as presented in Victorian novels

47.         The world of Jane Austen and William Makepeace Thackerey: representation of the society and its values in their novels.

48.          Great Expectations and Jane Eyre: two Bildungsroman novels. 

49.         The public and the private sphere in Victorian fiction.

50.          An angel and a siren - two types of women in Vanity Fair.



Essay topics for Year II


1.   Irish themes in W.B. Yeats’ poetry and plays.

2.   Functions of allusions and references to other poets in T.S. Eliot’s poems.

3.   Narrative experiments in the English modern novel.

4.   D.H. Lawrence’s presentation of the relationship of the individual and society.

5.   Characterize the presentation of feminine sensibility in V. Woolf’s novels.

6.   Define the role of art and myth in J. Joyce’s works.

7.   Consider the image of the British Empire and colonial subjects in the works of J. Conrad and/or E.M. Forster.

8.   The theme of contact and connection in E .M. Forster’s novels.

9.   The blend of the bleak and the humorous in S. Beckett’s plays.

10.                                 The theme of the insufficiency of language in the Theater of the Absurd.

11.                                  Expression of socio-political dissatisfaction in the works of Angry Young Men.

12.                                  The search for identity in the contemporary women’s writing.

13.                                  Intertextual world in postmodern fiction.

14.                                  H. Pinter’s plays as comedies of menace.

15.                                  Modern novels as form of game and play.

16.                                  W. B. Yeats as a love poet.

17.                                   Dublin as the epicenter of J. Joyce’s literary world.

18.                                  The role of psychological, political and moral implications in W. Golding’s fiction.



Sample Exams for Year I, II, BA  and MA studies


Sample Exam for Year I




I.  Choose ONE of the following topics (50 p.): 

        (Make sure you write logically and to the point)


·         The struggle between body and soul from the Middle Ages to the Victorian period.     OR:

·         From a medieval hero to a Victorian average man—the construction of a character in the genres of different epochs.


II. Answer the following questions:

  1. Allegory in medieval poetry and drama (20 p.) [min. 5 texts]
  2. Ideas on poetry in Romantic theory and practice (20 p.) [min. four poets]
  3. Genres/conventions in the 18th century drama (10 p.) [min. two genres/conventions]




I.  Choose ONE of the following topics (50 p.): 

        (Make sure you write logically and to the point)


·         The struggle between body and soul from the Middle Ages to the Victorian period.     OR:

·         From a medieval hero to a Victorian average man—the construction of a character in the genres of different epochs.

II. Answer the following questions:

  1. The Function of comic characters in Renaissance comedies and tragedies (20 p.) [min 5 texts]
  2. Victorian world as reflected in Victorian poetry (20 p.) [min. four issues]
  3. Genres/conventions in the 18th century drama (10 p.) [min. two genres/conventions]




I. Choose ONE of the following topics (50 p):

        (Make sure you write logically and to the point)


·         The treatment of crime and punishment in the history of English literature. OR:


II. Answer the following questions:

1.Childhood and memory in the poems of English pre-Romantic and Romantic

poets (20p.)

2. Medievalism in Victorian poetry (20 p.)

3. Tristram Shandy and Tom Jones as self-conscious novels: similarities and differences.


Sample Exam for Year II




1.Write an essay on the subject given below [40pts]:

Different approaches to rendering reality in the novel – from realism to postmodernism.

2.Answer the following questions [40pts]:

a)   The evil of war presented in twentieth-century English poetry.

b)   Characteristic features of postcolonial fiction.




1. Write an essay on the subject given below [40pts]:

Discuss utopias and dystopias of the twentieth-century English fiction.

2. Answer the following questions [40pts]:

a)   The development of the English drama of the 1950s and 1960s.

b)   Literary tradition rewritten – discuss it in relation to English female writing.

BA  Exam  Sample  topics  (2007)


1.               Drama and theater from the Middle Ages onwards.

2.               Realism and the novel from the 18th century onwards: major novelistic types and their rewritings.

3.               Medieval beast fables, Augustan poetry of nature, Romantic and Victorian concepts of nature.

4.               Authors and Narrators in poetry and prose.

5.               The fate of romance from the Middle Ages to the 18th century.

6.               Postmodernism in literature and culture.

7.               Major trends in 20th century drama and theater.

8.               Cultural background of the Renaissance, The Puritan Ages, The Restoration and Romanticism.

9.               Social aspects in the literature of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, The 19th and 20th centuries.

10.         Literary experiments from the Renaissance until the 21st century.








Reading List for English Literature MA Seminar Year I (1st semester)





Cities Imaginary and Real


·        Cities in poetry

·        Cities by Night (a tour)

·        Cities in Poetry (cont.):

-         James Thomson The City of Dreadful Night

·        City as a Palimpsest

-         Peter Ackroyd The Great Fire of London and London: A Biography

·        City as a Labyrinth

-         Martin Amis Other People: A Mystery Story

-         Anosh Irani The Cripple and his Talismans

·        Divided Cities

-         Monica Ali Brick Lane

-         Bernard MacLaverty Cal

-         Deirdre Madden Hidden Symptoms and Dermot Healy A Goat's Song

·        Writing the City

-         Barry Unsworth Sugar and Rum

-         Emma Tennant Felony

·        Imaginary City

- Ian McEwan The Comfort of Strangers

- Percy Bysshe Shelley Julian and Maddalo







1.   Courtly love, mad love, friendly love, passionate love, homosexual love, illicit passions in English literature.

2.   The pursuit of happiness in the Renaissance and 18th century literature

3.   Violence in drama (Medieval, Renaissance, contemporary)

4.   Murder One, manslaughter and crimes of passion in Medieval and Renaissance literature.

5.   The history of theater: how does a place influence dramatic conventions, how does dramatic conventions influence the place.

6.   Duality in literature: high/low, secular/religious, official/forbidden, first rate/second rate.  Define the categories and discuss on given examples.

7.   Angry Young Men of all periods (the Puritans, the Romantics, the Victorians): the eternal conflict between younger and older generations. When does the avant-garde become classical?

8.   The birth and development of English literary criticism:  Critical preoccupations of English authors (The Middle Ages to the present).

9.   Antecedents of the novel: modes of hi/story telling (The Middle Ages to the present).

10.         Imperialism and the novel, colonial and post-colonial mentalities as reflected in the works of British writers.  

11.        Pastoral elements in English literature, the poetic and novelistic love of the pastoral.

12.        Monsters in English literature. 

13.        Describing reality in English novel (18th century, Romantic, Victorian, Modernist, Contemporary).

14.        Telling stories: narrative mode in English poetry (Medieval, Augustan, Romantic, Contemporary).

15.        Eroticism and censorship.  How much sex is/should be permitted in a literary work?

16.        The question of literary genres: orthodoxy and transgression (Renaissance, Augustan, Romantic, Victorian). 

17.        Moral and social concerns in the English novel of the second half of the twentieth century.

18.        Augustan and post-modern treatment of “history” .

19.        The tradition of utopian and dystopian writing in English literature.

20.        The journey within oneself.  British literature of self-discovery.

21.        The tragic and the comic in Irish fiction of the 29th and 21st centuries.

22.        Social/political aspects of literary creation across ages.

23.        Continuity of tradition: contemporary English realist writers and their 19th century antecedents.

24.        Where does the theater go? New developments in British drama.

25.        Experimental women’s writing in contemporary England and Ireland and their literary “mothers.” 


[1] First year students are responsible for the entire basic “Reading List”.  The students interested in M.A. in English literature must be familiar with 75% of the texts from the first and second year’s “Suplementary Lists”.