English 3L06
    Old English Language and Literature

Old English Text Fragment

worm-eaten piece of animal skin?

Because more has been written about it than any other work in English; because Antonio Banderas is presently starring in a rip-off version, with another starring Christopher Lambert; because an entire Voyager episode was devoted to it; because it just WON'T GO AWAY. Because it has monsters and a dragon - all real ones, no faking it with computer animation. Because someone could once upon a time say it by heart to an audience of spellbound listeners; because you'll cry at the end.

Why learn to read a language no one has spoken since the 12th century? Because you'll be able to read the original English language, which very few people can do; because this will make it easy to learn German, Dutch, Scandinavian; because this will make it much easier to learn many other languages between North America and Iran (if you head east), because they have the same kind of grammar, and Modern English doesn't.

Because you'll be able to decipher handwriting that no one else can (Do you want to be a detective? A teacher? Do you have trouble reading your own class notes?).

When you finish 3L06, you'll be able to read another language: the earliest form of English. You'll be able to approach any other language course with confidence. You'll know a lot about why English exists as a language at all, and why it wasn't Norwegian or French which became the only global language today. You'll have read a lot of really great poetry, and the oldest and most well-known story in English.


English 3L06 Syllabus
View the English 3L06 course syllabus here.
Beowulf in Hypertext
Dr. Savage's Beowulf Project Homepage
Contains the complete Beowulf poem in Old English, its translation, and other helpful resources.
Wulf and Eadwacer
Old English poem
'Wulf and Eadwacer' edited by Dr. A. Savage

Contact Course Coordinator : Dr. Anne Savage (savage@mcmail.mcmaster.ca)