Course Descriptions

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Course Descriptions
Note: All courses are offered in English unless specified otherwise.

First Year


First Year

Introduction to the Theory of Literature (in Polish)

Winter and Summer Semesters, 1hr of lecture per week, 1+1=2 ECTS credits


TEACHERS: Polish staff.

FORMAT: lecture (in Polish).

CONTENT: Theory of literature as a science: Science vs. knowledge; Humanities: their domain and methodology; Theory of literature: its place in the humanities. The features of a literary work: The problem of characterisation; Social functions of a literary work; Aesthetic function vs. poetic function; Structural features. The problems of literary genre: Traditional typological criteria and their applications; Typological problems with modern literature. Contemporary theories: an overview.

  1. OBJECTIVES: Students should obtain a basic understanding of the theoretical issues which underlie the analysis of literary works. They should acquire the skills necessary to recognise structural and non-structural features, and knowledge of both traditional theories and contemporary approaches to literature.

ASSESSMENT: Class participation.


First Year

English Poetry to the 20th Century

Winter Semester, 1hr of lecture, 3hrs of tutorial per week, 1+3+2E=6 ECTS credits

PREREQUISITES: First Certificate-level language.

TEACHERS: Polish staff and native speakers of English.

FORMAT: lectures and discussion classes.

CONTENT: Old English literary devices and genres (epic poems, elegies, battle poems, riddles, charms); Christian and pagan elements in Beowulf; Medieval lyrics and allegorical poems; Arthurian romances; Medieval ballads; the Petrarchan convention and the development of the sonnet form; Elizabethan pastoral poetry; Metaphysical poets; Cavalier poetry and the carpe diem theme; Milton's Christian epic and its political context; Political satires of the Restoration; the mock-heroic poem; English pre-Romanticism; the mysticism of William Blake; William Wordsworth and his rejection of poetic diction; Pantheism in Romantic poetry; Coleridge's concept of the poet and poetic imagination; the Byronic mock-heroic poem; Romantic odes; Victorian dramatic monologues; Victorian elegy; Aestheticism and "art for art's sake" (The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood).


  1. OLD ENGLISH: Beowulf (fragm.);"The Dream of the Rood"; "The Wanderer"

  2. MIDDLE ENGLISH: Geoffrey Chaucer: Canterbury Tales (selected); William Langland: Piers Plowman;

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (fragm.); ballads: "Edward", "Sir Patrick Spense", "Thomas the Rhymer"

  1. EARLY AND ELIZABETHAN SONNETS: Thomas Wyatt, Edmund Surrey, Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare

  2. ELIZABETHAN LONG POEMS: Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queen (fragm.); Sir Philip Sidney: Arcadia

  3. CAVILIER VERSE: Ben Jonson: from The Forest; Robert Herrick

  4. METAPHYSICALS: John Donne: "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning", "The Flea", Holy Sonnets (selected); George Herbert, "The Collar"

  5. RESTORATION VERSE: John Milton: Paradise Lost (fragm.); John Dryden: "Absalom and Achitophel"; Andrew Marvell: "To His Coy Mistress"

  6. AUGUSTAN VERSE: Alexander Pope: "The Rape of the Lock"; Samuel Butler: "Hudibras" (fragm.)

  7. 18TH CENTURY VERSE: Thomas Gray: "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

  8. ROMANTICS: William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Experience (selected); William Wordsworth: "Tintern Abbey"; S.T.Coleridge: "Kubla Khan", "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner"; George Byron: Don Juan; Shelley: "Ode to the West Wind", "Ozymandias"; John Keats: "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode to a Nightingale",

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci"

  1. VICTORIANS: Alfred Tennyson: "In Memoriam" (fragm.), "Ulysses"; Robert Browning: "My Last Duchess"

OBJECTIVES: to introduce students to the most important poetic developments of the period; to provide them with an outline-history of English literature and a general knowledge of its social/political background; to introduce a theoretical approach to literature and the implementation of literary terms.

ASSESSMENT: class participation; written assignments, end-of-term oral examination.


First Year

English Drama to the 20th Century

Summer Semester, 1hr of lecture, 3 hrs of tutorial per week, 1+3+2E=6 ECTS credits

PREREQUISITES: First Certificate (FCE)-level language.

TEACHERS: Polish staff and native speakers of English.

FORMAT: seminar/discussion, lecture.

CONTENT: The course is a historical survey of the development of drama. Topics discussed include: the beginnings of drama (liturgical drama, mystery and morality plays, interludes); the influence of classical drama (Seneca, Plautus) and popular drama on Elizabethan playwrights; Shakespeare's predecessors (Marlowe and Kyd); Shakespearean tragedy (its substance, the growth of the hero, structure, language, imagery); Shakespearean comedy (its substance, romantic heroine, the kinds of the comic, use of disguise, subplots, poetic language, and wit); Shakespeare's romances and historical plays; Ben Jonson (satiric comedy, theory of humours, his theory of drama and theatre); Jacobean and Caroline drama; Sensationalism and determinism in Webster and Ford; the Restoration: comedy of manners; eighteenth century comedy. Attention is also drawn to subjects related to the written text as such (the changes it undergoes while being produced, the shape of Elizabethan theatres, censorship, etc.). If possible, video tapes are used and concrete productions discussed.


  1. MEDIEVAL: Everyman, Secunda Pastorum

  2. EARLY ELIZABETHAN: T. Kyd: The Spanish Tragedy (fragm.), C. Marlowe: Dr Faustus

  3. SHAKESPEARE: Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, or King Lear; Henry IV, pt. I;

A Midsummer Night's Dream or Twelfth Night

  1. JACOBEAN: B. Jonson: Volpone; T. Dekker: A Shoemaker's Holiday; J. Webster: The Duchess of Malfi

  2. CAROLINE: J. Ford: 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore

  3. RESTORATION: W. Wycherley: The Country Wife; W. Congreve: The Way of the World

  4. 18TH CENTURY COMEDY: R. B. Sheridan: The School for Scandal; O. Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer

  5. A. Nicoll: British Drama

  6. I. Evans: A Short History of English Drama

  7. J. L. Styan: Elements of Drama

  8. Harrison: Introducing Shakespeare

  9. Bradley: Shakespearean Tragedy

OBJECTIVES: to provide students with the basic information concerning the history of British drama, starting with mystery and morality plays and finishing with the 18th century comedies, and to teach the appreciation of drama not only when it is performed but also when it is read.

ASSESSMENT: Written work and class-participation; end-of-term oral examination.


First Year

British History 1

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