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11 - English Literature

    Table of contents
    1. 1. General remarks
    2. 2. topics

    General remarks

    Introduce the main developments of the period and discuss selected works. Consider questions of genres, style, and cultural history. Demonstrate that you have specialised knowledge about English literature and you are able to discuss individual works against a background of culture, theory, or criticism.

    As you prepare for this exam, please review the material of the courses you took, including the reading lists assigned and critical works suggested for the courses, handouts distributed in class, course material posted on the SEAS website, as well as your own notes from lectures and seminars. Please be prepared to discuss a few works in detail for each question.

    Please bring along for the exam a list of the authors and works you chose as examples for the topics below and make sure that there is no overlap among the works and authors selected for the different topics.

    Be aware that it is your responsibility to present the content of your choice within the framework provided by the questions; it is strongly advisable to prepare for the questions well in advance.


    1.      Discuss the oeuvre of a significant author.

    2.      Discuss a genre in a specific period.

    3.      Discuss a literary period; definitions and problems.

    4.      Compare two works by the same author.

    5.      Compare two works by different authors within a period.

    6.      Discuss a key concept in a period and its recent critical assessment.

    7.      Analyse a literary work using the methods of one specific critical approach.

    8.      Discuss a philosophical trend and its relevance to a given work or period of literature.

    9.      Discuss the formal features of a literary piece of your choice, offering a close reading in terms of narratology,          rhetorics, stylistics or prosody. (Bring along the text for the exam.)

    10.     Discuss the cultural background as a context for the analysis of a specific work.

    11.     Discuss a motif or topos (e.g., the body, nature, the city) over the course of several literary periods.

    12.  Discuss the connection between other forms of art and a selected work of literature.

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