Irodalom szigorlati tematika Comprehensive Exam in Literature an-298 English Literature From the Middle Ages up to the End of the 19th Century

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Comprehensive Exam in Literature


English Literature From the Middle Ages up to the End of the 19th Century
(with special emphasis on 19th century literature)

The comprehensive university examination in literature ("angol irodalmi szigorlat") takes place in front of a committee. The exam is meant to cover the history of English literature from the late Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. Comprehensive topics (see below) based on thematic, generic etc. considerations, have been prepared by members of the Department.

The candidates will have to pick three topics out of forty. One question needs to be answered in a detailed manner, the second one only needs to be outlined. The third question does not need to be answered. (In the following list, authors whose names are in brackets [] should be known and mentioned, but their works need not be elaborated upon.)

1. The Sonnet in English Poetry
(Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Wordsworth, Keats, E. B. Browning)
2. The Concept of Love in English Poetry
(medieval love lyrics (courtly and religious), Petrarchism, Donne, Marvell, Romanticism, the Victorian age)
3. Faith and Doubt in English Literature
(Old English poems, Marlowe: Doctor Faustus, Shakespeare: Hamlet, Blake, [Tennyson])
4. The Bible and Christianity in English Literature
(mystery plays, [Langland], Shakespeare: Measure for Measure, King Lear, Donne, Herbert, Milton, [Bunyan,] Blake)
5. The Antecedents and the Rise of the English Novel
(romances, More, [Elizabethan writers,] Defoe, Swift, [Richardson], Fielding, Sterne)
6. The Unheroic Hero in Victorian Fiction
(Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, Hardy)
7. Uses of History and Fiction in English Literature
(Beowulf, Chaucer: Troilus, Shakespeare’s history plays, Walter Scott, Thackeray)
8. Theories of Poetry from Sidney to the end of the 19th Century
(Sidney, Pope, [Blake,] Wordsworth, Coleridge, [Peacock,] Shelley, [Matthew Arnold])
9. Social and Psychological Novels in the 18th and 19th Centuries
(Defoe, [Richardson], Sterne, Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontës, Eliot)
10. Versions of the Epic
(Beowulf, Milton: Paradise Lost, Pope: The Rape of the Lock, [The Dunciad,] [Wordsworth’s plan, The Prelude], Byron: Don Juan, )
11. The Image of Classical Antiquity in Literature
(Chaucer: Troilus, Shakespeare’s Roman Plays, Ben Jonson, Dryden, Pope, [Chapman,] Keats)
12. Nature and Landscape in English Poetry
(‘The Wanderer’, ‘The Seafarer’, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Shakespeare’s "green world" comedies, Pope: Windsor Forest, the Lake-Poets)
13. Uses of Setting (Landscape and Cityscape) in English Fiction

(Defoe, Fielding, Austen, the Brontës, Dickens, Hardy, Eliot)

14. The Rise of the Individual in English Literature
(Chaucer’s pilgrims, Marlowe, Milton, Johnson: Rasselas, Defoe: Robinson, Fielding: Tom Jones)
15. The Heyday of Satire in the 17th-19th Centuries
([Butler], Dryden, Pope, Swift, [Mandeville], Byron, Dickens, Thackeray)

16. Forms of Irony in English Literature
(Chaucer, Shakespeare, Pope, Swift, Blake, Austen, Byron, Robert Browning)
17. Types of Comedy in English Literature
(Chaucer’s fabliau-tales, the mystery plays, Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, Jonson’s satirical comedies, comedy of manners, sentimental comedies, Oscar Wilde)
18. Types of Tragedy in English Literature
(Chaucerean narrative tragedy, [Revenge Tragedies,] Shakespeare’s Great Tragedies, Heroic Tragedies, Domestic Tragedies)
19. The ’Fallen Woman’ in English Literature
(Chaucer’s fabliau-whores, Chaucer's Criseyde, Milton’s Eve, Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Thackeray's Becky Sharp, Hardy's Tess)
20. Concepts and Uses of Marriage in English Literature
(Chaucer, Shakespeare, Restoration comedy, Richardson, Defoe, Austen or the Brontës, Dickens, Hardy)
21. Main Poetic Genres in 18th and 19th Century Literature
(mock-epic, sonnet, ode, elegy, ballad, the dramatic monologue)
22. The Generations of 19th Century Poetry
(The Lake Poets: Wordsworth, Coleridge; The Second Generation: Byron, Shelley, Keats; Tennyson and Browning; The Pre-Raphaelites)
23. Religion and Doubt in Victorian Fiction
(Dickens: A Christmas Carol, George Eliot: Middlemarch, Thomas Hardy)
24. Moral Questions in English Literature
(Chaucer, [Langland,] morality plays, Shakespeare’s problem plays, Swift, Richardson, Fielding, Johnson)
25. Provincial Life in 18th and 19th Century English Literature
(Congreve, Goldsmith, Austen, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy)
26. Urban Life in 18th and 19th Century English Literature
(Defoe: Moll Flanders, Blake: Songs of Experience, Thackeray: Vanity Fair, Dickens: Great Expectations or Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend)
27. Childhood and Innocence in English Literature
(Shakespeare, Blake, Wordsworth, Dickens)
28. The Sea in English Literature
(OE Seafarer, Shakespeare’s Comedies and Romances, Defoe: Robinson Crusoe, Swift: Gulliver's Travels, Coleridge: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Matthew Arnold: Dover Beach)
29. The Journey as Subject and Metaphor in English Literature
(OE elegies, Chaucer, Bunyan, the picaresque tradition, Defoe, Swift, Coleridge, Byron)
30. The Industrial Revolution in English Literature
(Blake, Wordsworth, Dickens, Hardy)
31. The Rise of the Middle Class in English Literature
(Chaucer, Defoe, Fielding, Dickens)
32. Utopias in English Literature Until the End of the 19th Century
(More: Utopia, Shakespeare: The Tempest, Swift: Gulliver's Travels, Johnson: Rasselas, Butler: Erehwon)
33. Scotland in Literature
(border-ballads, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Burns, Walter Scott)
34. War in English Literature
(Beowulf or The Battle of Maldon, Chaucer, More’s Utopia, Shakespeare, Milton, Scott, Thackeray)
35. Colonialism and the British Empire in English Literature
(More’s Utopia, Shakespeare: The Tempest, Swift: Gulliver's Travels, Defoe: Robinson Crusoe, Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre)
36. Allegory in English Literature
(Everyman, [Langland, Bunyan], Swift: A Tale of a Tub, the Pre-Raphaelites)
37. The Role of Imagination in 19th Century Poetry
(Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley)
38. Types of the Novel in the 18th and 19th Centuries
(Bildungsroman, picaresque, epistolary, historical, regional, satirical, Gothic)
39. The Gothic Tradition in English Fiction
([Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto], Maria Edgeworth or Ann Radcliffe or Mary Shelley; Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey; Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights or Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre; Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray or Robert Louis Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol)
40. Education in Victorian Fiction
(the Brontës, Austen, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Dickens, George Eliot, Thackeray, Hardy)
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