E211: British Literature to 1760

Syllabus Page for Spring 2005

Alfred Drake | Uni Hall 329 | W 3-4 | ajdrake@ajdrake.com

Note: other sites are available from my Portal. Additional versions of this course: Spring 2004 and Summer 2003.

Course Particulars: English 211, Course Code 12662. Wed. 4-6:45 p.m., McCarthy Hall (MH) 617. Office hours: Wed. 3-4 in University Hall 329. Home phone: 714-434-1612. E211 covers "major periods and movements, major authors, and major forms through 1760." Units: (3). Satisfies General Education requirements with grade of C or better. I will be using the +/- grading system.

Catalog Information: "This course meets a GE Disciplinary Learning requirement in Category III.B.2, Introduction to the Humanities. Learning goals for that category: a. To understand the distinctive characteristics of the humanistic perspective. b. To understand the historical and cultural factors, in a global context, that led to the development of the humanistic perspective. c. To understand the differences between the humanistic and other perspectives, as well as the differences among the humanistic disciplines. d. To understand and appreciate the contributions of the humanities to the development of the political and cultural institutions of contemporary society. e. To be familiar with and understand major texts (both written and oral), key figures, significant traditions, and important themes in the humanities. f. To analyze the meaning of major texts (both written and oral) from both Western and non-Western cultures, either in English or, if appropriate, in the language of the texts being analyzed. g. To apply the humanistic perspective to values, experiences, and meanings in one’s own life, and demonstrate how understanding the humanities can shed light on what it means to be human today."

Required Texts: (At Titan Bookstore)

Abrams, M.H. et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vols. 1A, 1B, 1C. 7th. edition. New York : Norton, 2000. ISBN #'s: 1A = 0393975657, 1B = 0393975665, 1C = 0393975673.

Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. Washington, D.C: Washington Square Press, 2004. ISBN: 0743477561. (Folger Editions)

Shakespeare, William. Henry V. Washington, D.C: Washington Square Press, 2004. ISBN: 0743484878. (Folger Editions)

Course Policies--important, so please review early in the semester.

5-7 Pg. Paper Requirement. 25% of course grade. Rough draft suggested, final draft due on day of final exam. See Advance Draft Comments. The paper should follow recent MLA guidelines and include a works cited page. New: see Paper Topic Suggestions.

Journal Requirement. 25% of course grade. Consists of responses to a choice of study questions on each author. Due in class Weeks 4, 8, 12, and on final exam day. (Or you may email them by the end of those evenings.)

Short Presentation Requirement (Schedule Included). 25% of course grade. Each class, several students will offer their responses to a different study question about the day's assigned texts. Responses can be informal, and there is no need to turn in anything. Students will sign up in advance for THREE study questions, each on a different author and for a different week. Responses need not take more than 3-5 minutes. I will bring in a hard-copy signup schedule and transfer the names to the online schedule. Missing these presentations reduces the effectiveness of class sessions, and will adversely affect the course grade. Rescheduling on a new author may be possible, but presents difficulties in a weekly seminar.

Final Exam Requirement. 25% of course grade. The exam will consist of substantive, prominently mentioned passages to identify, short questions requiring a paragraph-length response, and one comparative essay. On all three sections, there will be more choices than required responses. Books and notes are allowed for all three parts. Exam date is Wednesday, May 25 from 5-6:50 p.m. in our usual location.

General: College Success | Sample Essay | Grammar | Deductive Essays | Citation | Analysis | Editing | Plagiphrasing | Orwell | Links

Guides: Beowulf Guide | Chaucer's English | Medieval Humours | Renaissance Soul | Typology | Great Chain | Allegory | Renaissance Lyric | Epic Conventions | Petrarchan Sonnet | Poets & Gospel | Shakespeare Review | P.L. Arguments | P.L. Guide | P.L. Chronology | P.L. Modes | Divine Right | Renaissance Rhetoric | Addison/Steele's Spectator/Tatler Online

Questions: Bede | Dream of Rood | Beowulf | Marie de France | Chaucer | More | Wyatt | Shakespeare | Donne | Herbert | Milton | Dryden | Pepys | Swift | Addison/Steele | Pope | Gay | Hogarth | Johnson | Boswell | Burney | Gray | Collins | Cowper

Audio Note: If your browser has a media plug-in, left-click on class session links; if you have a separate player, right-click first and save file to disk.


02/02. Course Introduction.


02/09. Bede (23ff), "The Dream of the Rood" (26ff), and Beowulf (29ff).


02/16. Geoffrey Chaucer and Marie de France. Marie de France's "Lanval" (126ff). Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. General Prologue lines 1-164 (pp. 215-19) Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale (pp. 253-81).

WEEK 4 [Journal set #1 is due in class or by email: responses to selected questions on Bede, Dream of the Rood, Beowulf, Marie de France, and Chaucer.]

02/23. Thomas More and Thomas Wyatt. Wyatt's "The Long Love," "My Galley," "Madam, Withouten Many Words," "Whoso List to Hunt," "My Lute, Awake!" "They Flee from Me," "Divers Doth Use," "Blame Not My Lute," "Forget Not Yet," "Who List His Wealth and Ease," "Mine Own John Poins" ( 527ff). More's Utopia (503ff).


03/02. William Shakespeare. Henry V. [Film]


03/09. William Shakespeare. Henry V.


03/16. William Shakespeare. The Merchant of Venice. [Film]

WEEK 8 [Journal set #2 is due in class or by email: responses to selected questions on Wyatt, More, and Shakespeare's Henry V and Merchant of Venice.]

03/23. William Shakespeare. The Merchant of Venice. [Discussion, separate text]


03/30. Spring Recess, no class.


04/06. John Donne and George Herbert. Donne's "The Flea," "The Good Morrow," "Song--Go and Catch a Falling Star," "The Canonizaton," "A Nocturnal upon Saint Lucy's Day," "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," "Holy Sonnets" (all), "Good Friday, 1613: Riding Westward" (1233ff). Herbert's "The Altar," "Redemption," "Easter," "Easter Wings," "Affliction (I)," "Prayer (1)," "Jordan (1)," "Denial," "Jordan (2)," "Time," "The Bunch of Grapes," "The Pilgrimage," "The Pulley," "The Flower," "Discipline," "Death" (1595ff).


04/13. John Milton and John Dryden. Milton's Paradise Lost 1-4, 9 (1815ff). Dryden's "An Essay of Dramatic Poesy" (2114-18).

WEEK 12 [Journal set #3 is due in class or by email: responses to selected questions on Donne, Herbert, Milton, Dryden, Pepys, Swift.]

04/20. Samuel Pepys and Jonathan Swift. Pepys' Diary entry "The Great Fire" (2122-27). Swift's Gulliver's Travels. (2329ff).


04/27. Addison/Steele and Alexander Pope. Addison/Steele's "The Gentleman; the Pretty Fellow"; "Dueling"; "The Spectator's Club"; "Sir Roger at Church"; ""The Aims of the Spectator"; "Wit: True, False, Mixed"; "Paradise Lost: General Critical Remarks"; and "On the Scale of Being" (2479ff). Pope's The Rape of the Lock and "Eloisa to Abelard" (2525ff).


05/04. John Gay and William Hogarth. Gay's The Beggar's Opera (2605ff). Hogarth's Marriage à la Mode (2652ff).


05/11. Samuel Johnson and James Boswell. Johnson's Rasselas, (2678-2712) Rambler #4 "On Fiction" (2712-15), "Metaphysical Wit" (2736-38). New: not assigned but suggested: "Preface to A Dictionary of the English Language" and "Preface to Shakespeare." Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D (2752-83).


05/18. Frances Burney, Thomas Gray, William Collins, and William Cowper. Burney's Journals and Letters (2783-2805). Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College"; "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (2825ff). Collins' "Ode Written in the Beginning of the Year 1746" and "Ode on the Poetical Character" (2833ff). Cowper's selections from The Task and "The Castaway" (2875ff).

FINAL EXAM [Journal set #4 is due in class or by email: responses to selected questions on Addison/Steele, Pope, Gay, Hogarth, Johnson, Boswell, Burney, Gray, Collins, and Cowper. 5-7 page paper is also due; see paper instructions and advance comments.]

05/23-29. Cumulative final exam takes place in class Wednesday, May 25 from 5-6:50 p.m. If you haven't yet read instructions on how to prepare. please go over that document before the exam. I must file grades by Friday, June 3rd.