|English 203: Survey of British Literature I|
According to the UAA Catalog, Eng. 203 is a survey of English literature from the Anglo-Saxons to the Romantics. The emphasis is upon the more widely recognized writers, with attention to their cultural backgrounds. The course is a chronological--and necessarily highly selective--survey of English literature and highlights writers and texts from five general periods in English literary history:
The process of the course is straightforward: We will read significant texts from each period, analyze their content, and discuss their potential meanings, both in the context of their historical culture and our own period. We will also identify and interpret significant thematic emphases of individual works and authors, distinguish the characteristics of each period and writer, and look for both significant continuities and crucial innovations within and between writers and periods. As a way of examining the complicated relationship between literature and culture, I will frame each period according to its historical context and anchor each literary unit in a specific set of social practices--a "social code"--characteristic of that period. For the Old English period, we will examine the Heroic code; for the Middle English period, the Chivalric code; for the Renaissance, the Courtly aesthetic; for the Seventeenth century, the rise of Christian humanism; and for the Eighteenth century, Neoclassicism.
We will also find ourselves returning to several key questions of literary interpretation, including:
Any student requiring individualized accommodation due to a documented ADA disability should see me during the first week of class. UAA is an equal opportunity institution.
Our overall (and modest) goal for the course will be to achieve both an understanding and appreciation of approximately 1100 years worth of English literature. The general goal of the course will enable you, by the end of the semester, to be:
Abrams, M.H., gen. ed. The
Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1. 6th ed. New York:
|Requirements and Policies
Thorough reading, class participation, 2 tests (a midterm and a final), 5 brief response papers (1-1/2 pages to 2 pages), and one literary analysis paper are required in Eng. 203. In addition, I expect you to come to class faithfully and to keep up with the reading assignments.
The course is strictly graded from A to F (A = 93-100, B = 85-92, C = 77-84, D = 70-76, E = 69 or below) according to UAA descriptions: (A = "comprehensive mastery," B = "high level of performance," C = "satisfactory level of performance," D = "lowest passing grade," and F = "failure"). The grading emphasis in the course balances analysis and synthesis with objective testing, and I have weighted the grades accordingly:
Other grading concerns: I will grant a "W" only in cases of grave personal emergency, and I generally do not give Incompletes ("I"). One final word: If your have a question at any point in the term, ask me or set up an appointment. If you have a problem that prevents your progress in the course, don't suffer in silence. Let me know before it gets unmanageable and we'll work something out.
|T 8/26||Syllabus and Introduction to the Course;
Bede and "Caedmon's Hymn" (Norton Anthology, pp. 16-19)
|R 8/28||Intro: "The Old English Period" (pp. 2-5), "OE and ME English Prosody" (14-15). Poems: "The Wanderer" (pp. 68-70); "The Seafarer," "The Ruin," "The Wife's Lament," "The Husband's Message" (handouts)|
|T 9/2||Labor Day HolidayNo Class|
|R 9/4||"The Dream of the Rood" (pp. 19-21) and "The Battle of Maldon" (pp. 71-75)|
|T 9/9||Beowulf, pp. 21-40|
|R 9/11||Beowulf, pp. 40-68|
|T 9/16||Begin the Middle English Period
*Response Paper #1 Due in Class
Response Paper Number 1: Old English Literature
Identify a key theme in one of the shorter Old English texts we have read and trace its appearance in a specific passage(s) in Beowulf. Possibilities include:
If something else has caught your attention in our reading and in our discussions, you may also define your own topic--in any response paper--after consultation with me.
The better papers will:
Due in class, Tuesday 9/16
|T 9/16||Introduction: "The Middle English Period" (pp. 5-10)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Parts 1 and 2, pp. 200-225)
*Response Paper #1 Due in Class
|R 9/18||Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Parts 3 and 4, pp. 225-54)|
|Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales|
|T 9/23||The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (pp. 81-100)
Prologue of Langland's Piers Plowman (pp. 254-59)
From The Parson's Tale: The Prologue and Chaucer's Retraction (pp. 193-96)
|Mini-Unit on Women in Medieval Literature|
|R 9/25||The Miller's Tale (pp. 101-17)|
|T 9/30||The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale (pp. 117-44)
Margery Kempe, from The Book of Margery Kempe (pp. 298-308)
Julian of Norwich, from A Book of Showings (pp. 292-98)
|R 10/2||Mystery Plays or "Cycle" Drama: The Second Shepherd's Play
The Chester Play of Noah's Flood (pp. 308-18)
*Response Paper #2 Due: Middle English Literature
|T 10/7||Morality Plays: Everyman (pp. 363-84)|
|R 10/9||*Midterm Exam: Old and Middle English Literature|
Response Paper Number 2: Middle English Literature
Trace one of the following themes in at least two works, one of which must be Chaucerian:
The better papers will: (1) Be organized around a specific thesis and clearly and logically structured; (2) Address very specific passages and develop key points by citing specific texts (by page and/or line number) from Chaucer and the other ME texts; (3) Refer to key points of class discussion; (4) Be 1-1/2 to 2 typed ds pgs in the MLA format; and (5) Be turned in during class on Thursday, 10/2
|Sixteenth Century Poetics and Manners|
|R 10/16||The Transition from the Late Medieval to the Early Modern Period
Poetics: Sidney, The Defense of Poesy (pp. 479-500);
Manners: Hoby, Castiglione's The Courtier (pp. 973-88);
Lanyer, "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women" (pp. 1059-62)
|The Elizabethan Stage and the Nature of Tragedy|
|T 10/21||Shakespeare (pp. 888-967), King Lear , Act 1|
|R 10/23||King Lear, Acts 2 and 3|
|T 10/28||King Lear, Acts 4 and 5|
|The Renaissance Sonnet|
|R 10/30||Wyatt: "The Long Love," "Farewell, Love," "My
Galley," "Whoso Listeth to Hunt," "Divers Doth Use" (pp. 438-50).
Surrey: "Love, That Doth Reign," "The Soote Season," "Alas! So All Things," "Th'Assyrian King" (pp. 450-57).
Spenser, Amoretti: all selections (pp. 734-38)
Sidney, From Astrophil and Stella (all selections, pp. 458-73)
|T 11/4||Shakespeare, Sonnets (all selections, pp. 808-822)
*Response Paper #3 Due in Class
Response Paper Number 3: Sixteenth Century Literature
Using drama as a window into culture, compare and contrast King Lear with ME drama--the biblical drama (the Chester Noah play and the Towneley Second Shepherd's Play) and/or the morality play Everyman. Focus your analysis on one (or two) of the following:
The better papers will: (1) Be organized around a specific thesis and clearly and logically structured; (2) Address very specific passages and prove their point be citing specific texts (by page and/or line number) from King Lear and the ME dramatic texts; (3) Refer to key points of class discussion; (4) Be 1-1/2 to 2 typed double-spaced pages in the MLA format; and (5) Be submitted during class on Tuesday, 11/4.
|Bridge Unit: Further Experimentation in the Sonnet|
|T 11/4||Donne, The Holy Sonnets, (all selections, 1114-18);
Milton, Sonnets (all selections, pp. 1471-74): "How Soon Hath Time," "On the New Forcers," "To the Lord General Cromwell," "When I Consider How My Light is Spent," "On the Late Massacre in Piedmont," "Methought I Saw My Late Espoused Saint;" poems, "On Shakespeare" (p. 1442), "Lycidas" (1451);
Jonson, Sonnets: "To My Book" (p. 1217), "To William Camden" (1218); Poems, "To John Donne" (1219), "On My First Son" (1220), "To Penshurst" (1223), "To the Memory of My Beloved" (1241), "Ode to Himself" (1243).
Lady Mary Wroth, "Pamphilia to Amphilanthus" (pp. 1686-92)
|The Transition to the Later Seventeenth Century|
|R 11/6||Donne: "The Canonization" (p. 1086), "The Flea" (1090)
Herbert: "The Altar" & "Redemption" (p. 1370), "Easter Wings" & Affliction (1)" (1372); "Prayer (1)" and "Jordan" (1) (1374); "Church Monuments" (1375); "The Windows" and "Denial" (1376); "Man" (1378); "Jordan (2)" (1379); "The Pilgrimage" (1381); "The Pulley" (1383); "The Flower" (1384).
|T 11/11||Marvel: "To His Coy Mistress" (1420), "The Mower Against the Gardens" (1423), "Damon the Mower" (1424), "The Mower to the Glow Worms" (1427), "The Mower's Song" (1427), "The Garden" (1429)|
|R 11/13||Milton: Paradise Lost, Bk 1, ll. 1-155; Bk 4, ll. 1-408; Bk 5, ll.
*Response Paper #4 Due in Class
|T 11/18||Milton: Paradise Lost, Bk 9 (all); Bk 12, ll. 466-649.|
Response Paper Number 4: Early Seventeenth Century Literature
Analyze a sonnet: Compare and contrast a Renaissance sonnet of your choice with a sonnet from Donne, Milton, Jonson, or Lady Mary Wroth. Pay attention to:
The better papers will: (1) Be organized around a specific thesis concerning 1 or 2 sonnets and be clearly and logically structured; (2) Address very specific passages and develop key ideas by citing specific texts (by page and/or line number) from the sonnet(s) themselves; (3) Refer to key points of class discussion; (4) Be 1-1/2 to 2 typed double-spaced pages in the MLA format; (5) Be turned in on time in class on Thursday, 11/13.
|Upheaval and Transition: From 17th to 18th Century in Philosophy, Politics, and Poetics|
|T 11/18||Philosophy: Bacon, Essays (all selections, pp.
1258-68), "The Advancement of Learning" (pp. 1269-70), "Novum Oranum"
(pp. 1271-76); Hobbes, "Leviathan" (all selections, pp. 1658-1666); Locke,
"An Essay Concerning Human Understanding" (pp. 1755-60).
Politics: Halkett (pp. 1732-34), Lilburne (1735-39), Winstanley (1740-43), Coppe (1745-47), Hyde (1752-54).
Poetics: Dryden (all selections, pp. 1837-46); Cowley, "On Wit" (pp. 1715-17); Pope, "An Essay on Criticism" (pp. 2216-32).
|Variety and Innovation in 18th Century Writing|
|R 11/20||Mock-Heroic Verse: Dryden, "Mac Flecknoe" (pp. 1815-20); Pope, "Rape of the Lock" (pp. 2233-51).|
|T 11/25||Swift, "A Modest Proposal" (2181-86); Pope, "An Essay on Man" (pp. 2263-70)|
|R 11/27||Thanksgiving HolidayNo Class|
|T 12/2||Addison, Steele, and Johnson: Periodical Literature and the
Addison and Steele (all selections, pp. 2187-2211); Johnson and the Periodical: Rambler No. 5 (pp. 2310), Idler No. 31 (2313), Rambler No. 4 (2380), Rambler No. 60 (2382).
Johnson the Litterateur: "Dictionary" (pp. 2386-91); "Preface to Shakespeare" (pp. 2392-93 [General Nature] and 2402-03 [King Lear]); "Lives of the Poets" (On Paradise Lost, pp. 2408-12; On Pope and Dryden, pp. 2413-15).
|R 12/4||Poetry of Sensibility: Gray (all selections, pp. 2454-61); Collins (all selections, pp. 2462-66); Goldsmith, "The Deserted Village" (pp. 2484-92); Crabbe, "The Village" (pp. 2493-2500).|
|Final Exams, December 8-13|
© 1998, Daniel T. Kline. All rights reserved. Page launched on 1.1.98. Last updated on 10.03.02.