LIT119 : Foundations in Literary Study 2: Classical Sources for English Literature

Convener(s): Dr Nicky Hallett


Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course Convenor.

General Information

It is recommended that all students of English take this module (as well as
Foundations in Literary Study (I): The Bible & English Literature

(Autumn Semester: 10 credits).

Many English literary texts draw their inspiration from classical sources. The influence of Ovid’s Metamorphsis, for instance, can be seen in writers as diverse as Angela Carter, Geoffrey Chaucer, Carol Ann Duffy and John Milton. Romantic and Victorian writers drew on tales of Orpheus. James Joyce's Ulysses revisits Homer's Odyssey. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet echoes Sophocles’ Oedipus. Ancient myth is rewritten in the modern world. Once we recognise these sources, we can begin to understand what English creative writers did with them and their motives for reworking material.


This is a lecture-only course, supplemented by web-based non-assessed worksheets promoting research and critical interpretation: foundational skills for the higher levels of your degree. Typically a classical source and a literary text will be discussed in parallel, to expose a range of meanings about the classical sources as literature and classical sources in Literature. We will examine a range of approaches to material from the 14th to the 21st century.


One paper (100%), requiring identification of sources and critical annotation.

Contact Details

Dr Nicky Hallett, 0114 222 8472

Information last changed: Monday 10th of August 2015 :: 12:40:08 PM (BST)

course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK