Accessibility statement

A World of Literature I: Classics & Cultural Translations - ENG00020C

« Back to module search

  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kenneth Clarke
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

This module is a core foundational module for all First Year Single Subject English Literature studies. It will help all students encounter classical literary texts and to read this in relation to a range of significant inter-texts. This module has some clear links to Approaches to Literature I and II. This module will also help prepare students for A World of Literature II and it will also intersect with their continuing development across Reading Now and Theory Now.

We explore how classical drama poses ethical questions still confronted with urgency today, such as the limits of the law and the role of the individual resisting injustice. We also consider how poems such as Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses have remained touchstones for generations of writers, from Dante, to Milton, to T. S. Eliot and James Joyce.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The primary aim of the module is to introduce students to some of the foundational texts in Western literature and explore how they continue to exert a powerful imaginative influence on writers down the ages and across the globe.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of and engagement with a range of canonical “Classics” and key inter-texts, in a variety of genres and forms, especially classical drama and epic poetry.

  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of and engagement with ideas of cultural transformation and comparative literary approaches.

  3. Engage with key debates and relevant critical contexts, especially in relation to the study of classical literature and significant inter-texts.

  4. Develop arguments and ideas which demonstrate university-level critical thinking, research, and writing skills.


Task Length % of module mark
1500 Word Essay 1
N/A 50
1500 Word Essay 2
N/A 50

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative: In-class workshopping of essay title, introduction, bibliography in weeks 4 and 8


Task Length % of module mark
2500 Word Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is provided in a pedagogical spirit, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback.
  • If you would like to discuss your feedback, please consult your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours.
  • For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see the Department's Guide to Assessment.

Indicative reading

Readings might include:

  • Sophocles, Antigone
  • James Joyce, Ulysses
  • Homer, The Odyssey
  • Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses
  • Virgil, Aeneid
  • Dante, Inferno

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.