MA Comprehensive Exams, Week 1

In August I will take my graduate program’s comprehensive exams. At the halfway point in the Masters program in English, students have to pass a three day exam based on this reading list. I’m a little bit nervous but also looking forward to the opportunity to read wide and deep in both British and American literature (there’s a smattering of “world” and “Anglophone” literature, but it’s rather sparse).


This week the study group I’m a part of is starting with Medieval Lit:


  • Anon, Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Chaucer, Geoffrey, From The Canterbury Tales: The General Prologue, The Wife of Bath’s Tale, The Miller’s Tale, The Knight’s Tale, and The Pardoner’s Tale
  • Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love / A Book of Showings
  • Kempe, Margery, The Book of Margery Kempe
  • Langland, William, Piers Plowman
  • Malory, Thomas, Le Morte D’Arthur
  • Medieval Drama: Everyman, The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Pageant, The Wakefield Noah play
  • Medieval Poems: “The Wanderer,” “The Seafarer,” “The Dream of the Rood,” “The Wife’s Lament,” “The Ruin,” “Deor,” “Sumer is icumen in (The Cuckoo Song),” “Lenten is come with love to town,” “I sing of a maiden,” “Alison”
  • More, Thomas, Utopia

I’m reading the Medieval plays and poems deeply and will also try to get to sections of the other texts as well.



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