Office hours: TR 10-12 & MWF by appt
MCVR 115, 4-4690
Course goals: To read the major texts of earlier English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period up to eighteenth-century neoclassicism; to discuss, analyze, and understand the themes and aesthetic traits of these texts in light of their cultural, historical, and intellectual contexts; to appreciate the diverse roots of the English literary tradition. The student who successfully completes this course will learn to identify and explain the varied characteristics of British literature from the Old English through the neoclassical periods. He or she also will be able to clearly communicate, in writing, an understanding of the literary tenets and the historical contexts that helped shape these texts. As a writing-intensive course, this class requires frequent writing and a willingness to share one’s ideas, written and spoken, with other class members. We will spend ample class time planning and preparing papers.
Texts: Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1, Seventh edition, in
three paperback volumes:
1A The Middle Ages
1B The Sixteenth Century; The Early Seventeenth Century
1C The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century
Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing (Bantam), ed. Bevington
Grades: Quizzes and participation 10%
Typed paragraphs 10%
Essays (10 + 10 + 20) 40%
Extra credit for high-quality class participation.
Reading responsibilities: You must read carefully the assignment for each day. You are expected to read the introduction for each author or text as well as reading the literature. You should plan for two hours of reading per class meeting, and more time for your paper and exams.
Participation responsibilities: In order to get credit for participation, begin by bringing your text each day, opening it, and following along during lectures and discussions. You should be ready to share your insights and ideas; quality counts as much as quantity.
Attendance responsibilities: Your grade will be reduced after three absences and you will be dropped from the class after missing four classes. This rule does apply to students who have added late. Frequent tardiness or early leave-takings will be regarded as evidence of indifference and will affect your participation grade. In most cases, doctors' appointments and job responsibilities do not constitute acceptable excuses for missing class.
Writing responsibilities: Your paragraphs: Typed paragraphs on the reading
will be a regular feature of this class. Ordinarily, a topic or question will
be given in the previous class period; your paragraph will use the reading
assignment to thoughtfully respond to a significant issue. You are expected
to turn in one paragraph each week, for a total of fifteen. Except under extraordinary
circumstances, late paragraphs will not be accepted. Paragraphs must be typed,
well-developed, and carefully-written. Unless otherwise directed, you should
incorporate at least two quotations from the text(s).
Your essays: You will write two planned essays in conjunction with the tests. You will choose one of these test essays to research, rewrite, and expand into a thoughtful and carefully-written paper, which will be due on November 23. You may, with my permission, earn extra credit by researching, rewriting and expanding your other test essay into a second paper. In order to receive extra credit, this second paper must attain a grade of B- or higher.
Your honor: All work in this class should be governed by the UNCG Academic Honor Policy. I consider the use of Cliffs Notes or any crib resource a violation of this policy. Any work falsely submitted as your own will receive an F and will subject you to University disciplinary procedures.
Schedule (subject to revision):
IA: The Middle Ages
8/16 Introduction; "The Wanderer"; paragraph writing
8/23 "The Middle Ages," 1-20; Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, General
8/25 The Miller's Tale; using quotations
8/27 Wife of Bath's Prologue
8/30 Wife of Bath's Tale
9/1 Pardoner's Prologue and Tale
9/3 Parson's Tale; Chaucer's Retraction; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (SGGK), Part 1
9/6 Labor Day
9/8 SGGK 2 & 3; essay writing: thesis & argument
9/10 SGGK 4; Middle English Lyrics (349-55)
9/13 Julian of Norwich, A Book of Showings; Excerpts from The Book of Margery
9/15 Introduction to mystery cycles, 379-80; Second Shepherds' Play
9/17 Test 1: Medieval period; Test essay due 5 p.m.
1B: The Sixteenth Century; The Early Seventeenth Century
9/22 "The Sixteenth Century," 469-496; "Poetic Forms and Literary Terminology" (A44-A60)
9/24 Sidney, “The Defense of Poesy”; Astrophil and Stella 1, 7, 31, 47, 49, 52, 71
9/27 Shakespeare sonnets 3, 18, 20, 29, 55, 73, 87, 116, 126, 127, 129, 130
9/29 Sonnets cont.; "The Early Seventeenth Century," pp. 1209-1230
10/1 John Donne: "The Good Morrow," "Go and Catch a Falling Star," "The Sun Rising," "The Indifferent," "The Flea," "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," Holy Sonnet 14; "Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward," "A Hymn to God My God in My Sickness," "A Hymn to God the Father," Meditation 17 (p. 1277).
10/4 Donne cont.
10/6 George Herbert: "The Altar," "Redemption," "Easter," "Jordan" (I), "The Windows," "The Collar," "The Pulley," "The Flower," "Love" (III)
10/8 Robert Southwell, "The Burning Babe" (956); Ben Jonson: "On My First Son," "Inviting a Friend to Supper," "To Celia," "Still to Be Neat." Last day to drop classes.
10/11 Fall break
10/13 Herrick, "Delight in Disorder,” "Corinna's Going A-Maying," "Upon Julia's Clothes"; Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"; Suckling, "Out Upon It!"; Lovelace, "To Lucasta, Going to the Wars."
10/15 Test 2: Renaissance lyric poetry
10/18 In-class essay: Renaissance lyric poetry
10/20 Spenser, Faerie Queen, Book 1, Cantos 1-2
10/22 Faerie Queen, Book 1, Cantos 7-8
10/25 Marlowe, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, Scenes 1-5
10/27 Doctor Faustus, Scenes 6-13
10/29 Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Intro & Acts 1-2
11/1 Much Ado Acts 3-4; researching; using outside sources
11/3 Much Ado Act 5
11/5 Milton, Paradise Lost (PL), Book 1 to line 375; ll. 522-799
11/8 PL, Book 2, l. 629-end; Book 3 to l. 371
11/10 PL, Book 4; summaries of 5-7 (in handout); Bk. 8, l. 250 to end
11/12 PL, Bk. 9
11/15 Bk. 10; 12, l. 386 to end.
1C: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century
11/17 "Restoration and Eighteenth Century," 2045-2068; John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress
11/19 Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 4
11/22 Swift cont.; Paper due Tues., 11/23, 5 p.m., Mcvr. 115
11/24 & 26: Thanksgiving
11/29 Pope, The Rape of the Lock; “Impromptu” (2591); Anne Finch, “The
12/1 Pope, An Essay on Man; “To a Lady” (2593); Ingram, “An Epistle to Mr. Pope”; Leapor, “An Essay on Woman”
12/3 Dryden, “To the Memory of Mr. Oldham”; Johnson, “On the Death of Dr. Robert Levet”; Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”
12/6 Smart, Jubilate Agno; “A Song to David”; Cowper, "The
Final exam: Fri., 12/10, 8-11 a.m.