Essay Topics For Middle English LiteratureWhen it comes to essay topics for the Middle English literary period, all of the established writers and scholarship projects like Ms. Butler's are out of the question. You can't touch on events and figures like Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas More, Dante, and Sir Walter Scott. You may have some scope to talk about Beowulf and other ancient works in their original language, but you'd better make up an entire syllabus on the fly.
There are certain factors to look at that will make your essay ideas possible. They include the intent of the author, the nature of the text, the level of academic interest, and how much local literary background and culture might be involved.
If you are going to take a Middle English literature project like that on your own, do not expect to get very far. It is a high level of scholarship, done well. By the same token, it may not be something that you could even get past a part-time adjunct English professor.
Ms. Butler's theory says that writers often decide to have a piece published based on its merit as opposed to the prestige of the author's personal history. She is right about that. If you are looking to publish something yourself and can't find it at the MLA, or a conventional academic text, your chances of success are slim.
In Middle English, what matters most is if the writing, though roughly contemporaneous, is based on actual events or is the work of a professional. On the surface, this seems like an impossible task. If it was a personal tragedy, there would be no point in the writer having to explain the precise cause and effect.
Literary works were typically written for local audiences. Those audiences were drawn to words like 'wherefore'however.' Even in those days, when the public of a region was large enough to read books, something was always missing in this kind of text. It does not matter how famous the writer is, and how well known his or her name is for contemporary knowledge.
In Middle English, one's status as a citizen is not all that important. What does matter is whether one has an actual contribution to the nation's progress. When a reader faces something that is not factual, they are put off.
The goal of an academic work of this type is to produce a simple text that makes sense. Middle English editors have to work around the historical background and cultural factors of the time. Those are things that are different from the present day, as much as they are similar.