Backgrounds to English Literature

Subject 670-317 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 1.5-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points of first year English.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Bernard James Muir


Bernard Muir

Subject Overview:

This subject examines a range of Classical and Christian works to establish how and why they have been influential in Western literature and thought. Students who complete this subject successfully will have read a representative range of Classical literature (representing epic, mythology, elegy, pastoral, satire, theology, literary theory); will have studied several books of the Bible and been introduced to various schools of interpretation (from Patristic to modern times); and will have investigated the many ways in which Classical and biblical writings have influenced western thought and literature over the past two millennia.

Objectives: students will have read a representative range of Classical literature (representing epic, mythology, elegy, pastoral, satire, theology, literary theory);
have studied several books of the Bible;
have investigated the many ways in which Classical and Biblical writings have influenced Western thought and literature over the past two millennia.

A 3000 word essay 75% (due mid-semester); a 20 minute class presentation, equivalent to 1000 words 25% (completed during the semester and submitted in hard copy at the end of the semester). Assessment submitted late without a formal extension will be penalised at the rate of 1% per day late. Assessment will not be accepted in electronic format.

Prescribed Texts:

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • On Christian Teaching (Augustine), OUP
  • The Bible, (with Apocrypha) OUP/CUP
  • The Consolation of Philosophy (Boethius), Bobbs-Merrill or Penguin
  • Satires (Horace and Persius), Penguin
  • Metamorphoses (Ovid), Penguin
  • Oedipus Tyrannus (Sophocles), Norton
  • Eclogues and Georgics (Virgil), Oxford
  • Aeneid (Virgil), Oxford
  • Classical Literary Criticism, Penguin
  • Myths from Mesopotamia, Oxford World's Classics
  • Satires (Juvenal), Penguin
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have the ability to develop critical self-awareness and the capacity to shape persuasive arguments;

  • have the ability to apply research skills (especially in library and online resources) and critical methods to an emerging field of inquiry;

  • have the ability to communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and in group discussions;

  • have made detailed readings of a range of texts in different media;

  • have the ability to think critically about the relations between academic and popular forms of knowledge of the past.


This subject may be included in a major in classics or classical studies and archaeology.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval && Early Modern Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major
European Studies

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