The development of form

Although this year is intended to revolve around the idea of form, we’ve also taken the opportunity to shoehorn in the King James Bible both as a literary text in its own right and as possibly the most influential text on the rest of English literature. The year kicks off with Tom’s module on the study of the sonnet form over time and is, in a nutshell, one damn sonnet after another from Petrarch to Shakespeare to Wordsworth to the modern explosion of the form. The Bible module celebrates William Tyndale as one of the most important unsung heroes of English as well as presenting some of the most enduringly popular Bible stories as well as a smattering of some of the literature influenced by the KJV. Then, our magisterial Story of Comedy module takes students from the ancient origins of the genre, focussing on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, through Chaucer’s ‘Miller’s Tale’, via one of Shakespeare’s lesser studied comedies, As You Like It, through the Restoration and into the modern era. The year then ends with our take on the story of the novel, beginning with Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko and then sweeping through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and being anchored around Dickens’ Great Expectations.