The Magical Power Of Story – The Welsh Mabinogion
We all tell our own stories as we continually make and re-make our lives. Folk tale and myth are both
a reflection and a production of lives lived in the past but having a pertinence for our present with
even promises for our future. Once upon a time a number of mythological narratives were forged
in the Welsh of the Dark Ages via oral tradition.These became scripted by medieval monks and
finally translated and ensouled in English, as an overall composition, in the Victorian age. Collectively
known as the Mabinogion, this course will examine the Four Branches of the text, pointing out its
many layered levels of possible interpretation and suggesting the relevance of its insights for
Who is this course for
No specialised knowledge is required. But an interest in story, storytelling, myth and their relationship to personal development is always welcome!
What does this course cover
We contextualise Welsh mythology in the wider environment of early Celtic society and tradition. The value of interpreting myth as a symbolic system on a variety of levels will be demonstrated - especially as regards the seasonal, the shamanistic, the historical and the psychological. The Four Branches is explored in the light of common themes across the mythological, magical, traditional and non-traditional dimensions.
By the end of the course students should have achieved a thorough grounding in a portion of early British literature; perceive how such tales may have been presented when they were in circulation; and draw some possible correlations between issues arising within such ancient myths and the person's own life history today.
What will it be like
Course material will be presented via storytelling, DVD examples, power-point slides, handouts and lecture exposition.
Assessment via question and answer, round robin discussion, pair work and analysis of student response to stimulus material as to degrees of relevance, etc.
What else do you need to buy or do
Purchase or borrow (via library service) one or more editions of the Mabinogion as a set text, ideally reading at least one of the Branches (usually the first 4 chapters in most editions) per week. Acquire a loose-leaf folder for class handouts. Use You Tube, etc, for any relevant clips/pod casts on the stories, ditto for BBC Radio 4 station.
What this course could lead to
Other courses on literature, Celtic tradition, mythology, etc.
I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.MWC student
This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria
Got a Question about this Course?
Contact The Departmental Administrator.
Why come to Mary Ward Centre?
Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.
Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’