Course Content (Syllabus)
Course content/ syllabus Lit6-260
Session 1. The Middle Ages: Feudal society; love and marriage; the role of the church. View video by Johanna Alemann*. Read: Derrek Brewer, “The Social Context of Medieval English Literature” (in e-class) and “Middle English Literature” along with “Medieval English” (in Norton Anthology, 9th ed pp. 13-24).
Session 2. Thomas of England, Le Roman de Tristran; background on Romance, pp. 140-142; Marie de France, “Chevrefoil”; Capellanus, The Art of Courtly Love, trans. John Parry, pp. 28-36 & 184-186. (The first three are in Norton, 9th ed; the last one in e-class).
Session 3. Introduction to Chaucer & The Canterbury Tales (9th ed of Norton, pp. 238-243); Chaucer, “The Franklin’s Tale” (in Norton, 6th ed, & in e-class). Review session.
Session 4. The Early Modern Age: Renaissance Humanism, Protestant Reformation, Tudor monarchy, political absolutism, court & administration, social change, literature and drama, development of English. Read: Introduction to the 16th Century in Norton Anthology, 9th edition, pp. 531-544; An Homily Against Disobedience; Queen Elizabeth, “Tilbury speech”; Castiglione, “Ladder of Love” in his Book of The Courtier; Dod-Cleaver & Smith, Household Government; Erasmus, “Woman in childbed.” (The first three texts are in Norton, 9th ed.; the last two are provided in e-class.)
Session 5. The Elizabethan Sonnet: Sidney, Astrophil and Stella (sonnets 5, 6, 71 & 72); Spenser, Amoretti,
sonnets 65 & 79; Shakespeare, Sonnets, 18, 130, 138; patrarchism and neo-Platonism.
Session 6. Elizabethan Theatre: Romeo and Juliet; view film: Shakespeare in Love.
Session 7. Romeo and Juliet (con’t)
Session 8. Romeo and Juliet (con’t). Review session.
Session 9. The Early 17th Century: from female to male monarch, navigations & colonial aspirations, scientific discoveries, changes in mood and literary style; gender debates. Read: Introduction to the early 17th century in Norton Anthology, 9th ed, pp. 1341-1355; excerpt from A Brief and True Report by Hariot (in Norton 6th ed.); Bacon, “Of Plantations” (Norton, 9th); “A Homily of the State of Matrimony,” excerpt (in e-class); Swetnam, The Arraignment of Women; Speght, A Muzzle for Melastomus; [The last two are in the 9th ed of Norton.]
Session 10. Change in literary styles; metaphysical poets. Donne, “Batter my Heart,” and “The Good Morrow”; Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”
Session 11. The Civil War and the Republic. Genesis, from the King James Bible (in e-class); Milton, Paradise Lost (Book IV, lines 285-535, 610-775; & Book IX, lines 494-833)
Session 12. Milton, Paradise Lost (Book X, lines 641-1104, & Book XII, lines 466-649); Review session.
Session 13. The Restoration & the 18th Century: political & social changes after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. Read: Introduction to the Restoration & the 18th Century in Norton, 9th ed.; Steele, “The Spectator’s Club”; Addison, “The Royal Exchange”; Pepys, “The Deb Willet Affair” in his Diary; Anne Finch, “Introduction. (All of these texts are included in the 9th ed of Norton.)
Important Note 1: The materials included in this syllabus can be found either in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol 1, Ninth edition, or in the course’s e-class under “Documents.” The Norton Anthology vol 1 (as well as a photocopied corpus of texts to be used from this volume) will be placed on RESERVE in the ENL Library for anyone who does not own the volume. Texts uploaded in e-class will not be available in photocopied form.
Note 2: The course includes two writing workshops, which will be organized around a critical/research paper. You will be notified about them in due time through an announcement in e-class.
*Video by Johanna Alemann, Europe in Transition, available from: https://archive.org/details/EuropeInTransition
Recommended films to view:
Shakespeare in Love (1998), dir John Madden
Tristan and Isolde (2006), dir Reynolds, (produced by Ridley Scott)