Survey of British Literature, Beginnings-1784
This course is a chronological introduction to the important movements in British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the end of the eighteenth century. Because we have such a limited time to cover such a broad period, we will not be studying drama in this course, but will concentrate on poetry and short- to medium-length prose texts. We will try to combine close readings of the works on the syllabus with attention to historical and cultural developments during a millennium of literary activity in England. The authors surveyed include Chaucer, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare (the sonnets), Donne, Milton, and Pope. Coursework will typically include three unit tests, two 5-7 page papers, and active participation in discussion.