The set texts fall into four main groups. In the first one you find texts you have to read by all means in English for the exam.
In the second group called ‘Make Your Choice’, you will find various texts in various combinations and you have to pick one or more pieces from each sub-group and read them in English.
The third group contains material which is still compulsory but you may read it either in English or in Hungarian.
Finally, there is a group called Bonus: from here you may read as many pieces as you like in English or in Hungarian for bonus points at the exam. Enjoy!
1. COMPULSORY TEXTS TO BE READ IN ENGLISH : Lines 1-52 of Beowulf (in Modern English translation) The Seafarer (in Modern English translation) The Dream of the Rood (in Modern English translation) The “General Prologue” to Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (in Modern English translation, preferably Nevil Coghill’s) Sir Thomas Wyatt: “Whoso list to hunt...”; “They flee from me...”; “The long love that in my thought doth harbour” Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey “O happy dames...”; “Love that liveth and reigneth in my thought...”; “Wyatt resteth here...”; Sir Philip Sidney: Sonnets 5, 6, 28, 71 from Astrophel and Stella; “Leave me, O Love...”; Edmund Spenser: Sonnets “Like as a huntsman...”; “One day I wrote her name...”; “Lacking my love...”; “Fair is my love...”; “Let not one spark...” from Amoretti William Shakespeare: The Tempest William Shakespeare: from The Sonnets: 12, 15, 55, 71, 75, 81, 94, 97, 116, 130, 138, 144 John Donne: “The Ecstasy” John Donne: “Batter my heart, three personed God...” George Herbert: “Easter Wings” Andrew Marvell: “To His Coy Mistress” John Milton: “When I consider how my light is spent...”; John Milton: “On the Late Massacre in Piedmont”;
2. MAKE YOUR CHOICE but please read the texts in English: Choose ONE form the following sub-group (A): “The story of Caedmon” from Bede’s Ecclesiastical History (in Modern English translation) King Alfred’s “Preface” to the translation of Gregory’s Pastoral Care (in Modern English translation) The Battle of Brunanburh (in Modern English translation) The Battle of Maldon (in Modern English translation) The Wanderer (in Modern English translation) Choose ONE from the following sub-group (B): "Sir Orfeo" (in Modern English translation) "Sir Launfal" (Modern English versions on the net) "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" (Marie Boroff's translation in the Norton Anthology); Choose THREE from the following sub-group (C): Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales (Nevil Coghill's translation in the Penguin Classics edition): "The Miller's Tale" "The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale"; "The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale"; "The Nun's Priest's Tale"; "The Franklin's Tale"; Choose ONE from the following sub-group (D): The Second Shepherd’s Play (Secunda Pastorum) (in Modern English translation) The York Play of Crucifixion (in Modern translation) Sir Thomas More: from Utopia:“[Marriage Customs]; [Religions]; and [Conclusion]" Edmund Spencer: from The Fairie Queene: “A Letter of the Author” and [Invocation] Francis Bacon: from the Essays: “Of Truth”; Francis Bacon: from Novum Organum: “The Idols”
3. COMPULSORY READING either in English or in Hungarian: Christopher Marlowe: Doctor Faustus William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream William Shakespeare: Hamlet William Shakespeare: Othello William Shakespeare: King Lear William Shakespeare: Macbeth John Donne: “The Good Morrow” John Donne: “At the round earth’s imagined corners...” George Herbert: “Man” George Herbert: “Time” Andrew Marvell: “The Garden” Andrew Marvell: “A Dialogue Between the Soul and Body” John Milton: from Paradise Lost: "Book 1"
4. BONUS: for bonus points at the exam, read as many, either in (Modern) English (translation) or in Hungarian, as you wish: The entry of 1066 from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Pearl (if in translation, then in Brian Stone’s) Geoffrey Chaucer: Troilus and Criseyde Geoffrey Chaucer: further tales from The Canterbury Tales Everyman Edmund Spencer: 1-4 of The First Booke of the Fairies Quenne Sir Philip Sidney: The Defense of Poesie; Thomas Nashe: from Pierce Penniless, His Supplication to the Devil ;“An Inventive Against Enemies of Poetry” and “The Defense of Plays”; William Shakespeare: Richard III William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare: As You Like It William Shakespeare: Henry V William Shakespeare: Twelfth Night William Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida William Shakespeare: Measure for Measure William Shakespeare: The Winter’s Tale John Donne: “Song” John Donne: “The Flea” John Donne: “The Apparition” John Donne: “Hymn to God My God, In My Sickness” John Milton: “To the Lord General Cromwell”
PLUS: Handouts by the lecturers on the Internet under: seas3.elte.hu: Kallay Geza: course material (here several of the primary texts are available, too) Your lecture-notes
USEFUL SECONDARY SOURCES (not compulsory): Introductions to the pieces in The Norton Anthology of English Literature Andrew Sanders: The Short Oxford History of English Literature, 2nd ed., Oxford: OUP, 2000 A Concise Companion to Chaucer, ed. Corinne Saunders, Blackwell, 2006. Volumes of the Cambridge Companion series
There will be an oral examination at the end of the term. How to prepare for the exam? What to expect?
Study the “Set texts” list very carefully! Make a list of the texts you have read. (“You have read” means that you are familiar with e.g. plot-lines, names of characters in the piece, the overall meaning of a poem, etc. — that you read something “a long time ago” is not a good excuse, unfortunately, at the exam).
THE READINGS IN GROUPS 1 AND 3 MUST, BY DEFINITION, BE ON YOUR LIST but please mark whether you have read the pieces in English or in Hungarian in Group 3.
Put what you have chosen from Group 2 on the list, too; Group 4 may be totally missing form your list, but then you cannot earn bonus points.
Since there is no time to prepare lists once you are in the examination-room, it is vital that you have the list in your hand when you enter. The oral examinations are conducted by all members of our Faculty giving the lectures and the seminars.
Exam-dates, with the name of the Faculty-member giving the exam on that day, will appear in Neptun three-four weeks before the exam- period. Please register for ONE of the dates and please come to the exam with your list and ID card; without these you cannot take the exam.
Please note when the exam begins (e.g. 9 a.m.) and be there on time (literally: in front of the door of the exam-room, the number of which is also noted in Neptun); do not count on other students “being the first, the second...” because “these others” might not turn up and the exam might be over before you arrive.
At the exam, the examiner will pick one or two readings from your list: this/these is/are your topic(s) you will be examined in. You will have about 10-15 minutes to prepare for your oral presentation. Please write a sketch, do not put every sentence down. Ideally, when it is your turn, you give an oral presentation of about 10-15 minutes, but the exam is also a “colloquium”, a discussion, so the examiner might ask questions after the first 3-5 minutes.
At the end of your oral presentation, the examiner may ask “nasty” questions form the whole material, e.g. names, dates, other data, etc. not directly related to your topic(s).
You get your grade, which will be entered into Neptun. For the rest of the exam-procedure (what happens if you fail to turn up on your exam-day, etc.) please see the general regulations of SEAS and the Faculty of Humanities of ELTE!