Master Works of Western Literature I
Cod: 51202
Department: DH
Scientific area: Literature
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

The curricular unit is centred on a corpus constituted by texts regarded as master works, from the Holy Scriptures to the Renaissance.
A reflection on the canon, based on theoretical essays that involve broader issues, related to Knowledge and Wisdom, precedes the approach to the selected literary works. The study of these works encompasses, on its turn, the contexts where they were produced, determinant to their intrinsic characteristics, as well as the diverse subjacent cultural traditions, some revisited and recreated, others subverted and rejected.

The Western canon; cultural/literary traditions; literary work

– to reflect on the importance of the Judeo-Christian and Greek traditions;
– to understand the way these traditions were revisited and rewritten during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance;
– to develop critical thinking;
– to elaborate textual analysis;
– to understand the deep meanings of the texts;
– to evidence capacity of synthesis, argumentation and selection.


1. The Judeo-Christian narrative of creation – Livro do Génesis [The Book of Genesis]
2. The classical tradition of tragedy – Medeia, by Euripides [Medea]

1. The Christian quest – A Divina Comédia, by Dante Alighieri [The Divine Comedy]
2. The Development of lyric poetry – Rimas, by Luís de Camões [Rhymes]
3. The tragic expansion – O Rei Lear, by William Shakespeare [King Lear]

Bloom, Harold. O Cânone Ocidental. Trad. Manuel Frias Martins. Lisboa: Temas e Debates, 2011.
---. Onde Está a Sabedoria? Trad. Miguel Serras Pereira. Lisboa: Relógio d'Água, 2008.
Camões, Luís de. Rimas. Org. A. Costa Pimpão. Lisboa: Almedina, 1994.
Dante Alighieri. A Divina Comédia. Trad. Vasco Graça Moura. Lisboa: Bertrand, 2000.
Eurípides. Medeia. Trad. Maria Helena da Rocha Pereira. Coimbra: Instituto Nacional de Investigação Científica, 1991.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 8th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2016. [ou a última edição, visto haver reedições frequentes; obra disponível online].
Livro do Génesis. Bíblia Sagrada. Lisboa: Difusora Bíblica (Missionários Capuchinhos), 1986. 16-50.
Lourenço, Frederico. Grécia Revisitada. Ensaios sobre Cultura Grega. Lisboa: Cotovia, 2004.
Shakespeare, William. O Rei Lear. Trad. M. Gomes da Torre. Porto: Campo das Letras, 2005.
Paiva Correia, Maria Helena de, et al. Literatura Inglesa (Época Renascentista). Lisboa: U Aberta, 1996.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).

The literary works will be available in the virtual classroom