Catalog Description: Major poets, dramatists, satirists read within the context of their times: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Swift, and others
Student Learning Goals: After completion of this course you should be able
--read early British texts with careful attention and recognize literary techniques in them;
--understand better how authors and their readers create meaning in these texts;
--understand early British literature in terms of major periods and authors;
--recognize genres of this literature such as epic, lyric, tragedy, and satire;
--understand better the relationship of this literature to historical and cultural issues;
--demonstrate ability to write clearly and effectively about this literature.
Textbooks: Norton Anthology of English Literature, Major
Authors, 7th ed.,
Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (Pelican)
Shakespeare, Othello (Pelican)
Assignments for Class Discussion:
I. Middle Ages: Fourteenth Century
August 18 Chaucer, "General Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales
23 "General Prologue"
25 Chaucer, "Wife of Bath's Prologue"
30 "Wife of Bath's Tale”
September 1 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Parts 1-2
6 Sir Gawain, Parts 3-4
8 First Exam
II. Early Modern Period: Late Sixteenth & Early Seventeenth Century
13 Sonnets 1: Sidney, Astrophil and Stella, 1, 31, 52 71; Spenser, Amoretti, 1, 34, 64, 75; Wroth, Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, 16, 68
15 Sonnets 2: Shakespeare, Sonnets, 3, 18, 30, 60, 73, 116, 129, 130, 138
20 Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Acts 1-2
22 Much Ado, Acts 3-5
27 Shakespeare, Othello, Act 1
29 Othello, Acts 2-3
October 4 Othello, Acts 4-5
6 Metaphysical Poets 1: Donne, "The Sun Rising," “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," “To His Mistress Going to Bed”; Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”
13 Metaphysical Poets 2: Donne, Holy Sonnets, 5, 10, 14; Herbert, “Redemption,” “Easter Wings,” “Jordan (1),” “Love (3)”
18 Second Exam
III. Late Seventeenth Century and Early Eighteenth Century
20 Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1, ll. 1-375
25 Paradise Lost, Book 2, ll. 1-385, 629-897
27 Paradise Lost, Book 4, ll. 1-504, 610-775
November 1 Paradise Lost, Book 9; Lanyer, “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women”
3 Behn, Oroonoko
8 Oroonoko; “The Disappointment”
10 Pope, The Rape of the Lock, Cantos 1-3
15 Rape of the Lock, Cantos 3-5; Montagu, “The Lover: A Ballad”
17 Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Part 1
22 Gulliver’s Travels, Part 2
29 Gulliver’s Travels, Part 4
December 1 Third Exam
Exams: You will have three exams, each consisting of two parts. In the first part you will be given 20-30 minutes to identify and discuss five quotations. You will use the remaining time to write an essay, comparing and contrasting aspects of two or three texts.
Commonplace book: During Parts II and III you will prepare a folder consisting of six pieces and an introduction. You will copy out passages that interest you, each related to one topic below, and write a brief critical reflection about each (at least one page). Prepare one entry on each of Shakespeare’s plays; one on either the sonnets or the metaphysical poets; one on Milton; one on Behn or Pope; one on Swift. You should write consistently about either (1) women or men, (2) love and/or marriage, or (3) good and/or evil. The finished project, including a one-page introduction, is due by Reading Day, December 6. I will ask you to submit a sample for review by the end of October.
Participation/Attendance: You are expected to attend regularly. You should read assignments before coming to class and be prepared to talk about them. You will improve your participation grade through active involvement. I expect you to arrive on time and remain for 75 minutes; please turn off cell phones. If you are absent more than three times, this part of your course grade will be reduced for each additional absence. I will occasionally divide you into groups for discussion. I will also ask you to read passages aloud.
Academic Integrity Policy: You are expected to follow this UNCG policy. All written work should be your own. Plagiarism in your commonplace book or cheating on an exam will result in a grade of F on the assignment.
Course Grade: exams, 75% (25% each); commonplace book, 15%; participation, 10%.