ENG 283E: Our Premodern Epics: How Epics Create Culture and Vice Versa

Our Premodern Epics and Their Modern Interpretations

Our goal was to read Game of Thrones from an informed perspective: why did George RR Martin choose to depict pseudo-medieval society as he did in his fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire? In pursuit of that question, we sampled nine premodern epics and talked about the history and politics surrounding their writings. Where did these epics come from? How did they shape history and how did history shape them? What connections can be made between them? This eBook is the culmination of a semester's worth of work, and delves into each epic and how that epic has been disseminated by future generations. These epics include: Gilgamesh, the Iliad, 1001 Nights, the Shahnameh, Beowulf, the Orkneyinga Saga, the poetry written about the Battle of Crecy, Malory's Morte Darthur, and Don Quixote. Each student in the course was responsible for finding a modern day interpretation and creating a Scalar page on the significance of that particular artifact and how it intersected with the cultural and historical importance of their assigned text. This ebook is the result. Enjoy our findings! And hopefully, this accummulated research will enhance your appreciation of Game of Thrones as well.


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