Survey of British Literature: Beginnings to 1784: Greatest Hits!
This course will allow you to enjoy some of the smartest, funniest, strangest, most beautiful, and most influential works of British Literature written between the tenth century and the eighteenth. While this period may seem like a long time ago, we will quickly discover that the writers of early British literature experienced pain, loneliness, love, regret, happiness, fear, celebration, loyalty, confusion and conflict in ways that are relevant to our experiences in the modern world. Even more exiciting is that their writing can also transport you to settings that are farther from home: beheadings, battles, lonely convents, the Garden of Eden, chivalrous contests, and fancy parties in early modern London. Texts included are likely to include "The Wanderer," "The Wife's Lament," Anglo-Saxon Riddles, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, selections from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Othello by William Shakespeare, Oroonoko by Aphra Behn, and Evelina by Fanny Burney, as well as poems by Alexander Pope, satire by Jonathan Swift, and essays by the pompous but endearingly morose Samuel Johnson.
Writing assignments will include up to three short papers or projects in addition to a midterm and a final.