HL1002 Survey of English Literature I

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HL1002: SURVEY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE I
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This course covers over one thousand years of English writing, from Anglo-Saxon to
Neoclassical literature. We will focus primarily on the relationship between “form” and
“history” in seeking to understand this literature, where “form” refers to a given text’s
genre or mode (e.g., “revenge tragedy”), its linguistic and narrative characteristics, and so
on, while “history” means both material and cultural formations as these change through
time. While we will engage closely with questions of traditional literary history, we will
also consider how more recent ways of reading and thinking about literature—from
deconstruction to queer theory—might enrich our understanding of these mostly
canonical works. The course will touch upon a number of “big” themes in English
literature, with particular emphasis on the rise of individualism and the impact of the
Reformation on early-modern culture and thought.
Core Texts
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2005)
Stephen Greenblatt, ed., The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Ninth Edition,
Volume 1 (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2006)
William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Folger Shakespeare Library, 2003)
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (Folger Shakespeare Library, 2009)
Instruction:
Lecture: Two hours per week
Tutorial: One hour per week
Assessment:
Essay (2000 words)
Continuous Assessment:
Final Examination:
Course Coordinator:
Walter Wadiak
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: (65) 6790 6704
Office: HSS-03-72
40%
10%
50%
Lecture Schedule
Week
One
Topic
Introduction to the course
and to Old and Middle
English poetry
Reading
“Introduction” and “AngloSaxon Literature” in “The
Middle Ages to ca. 1485”
(NAEL 1-7); Caedmon’s
Hymn ( 24-6); The Dream
of the Rood ( 27-8); Judith
(100-7); The Wanderer
(111-12)
Two
Epic and the hero
Beowulf (29-99)
Three
Medieval romance and the
idea of order
Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight (160-212)
Four
Satire in the later Middle
Ages
Chaucer: The General
Prologue; The Miller’s Tale
(213-41)
Five
Introduction to Renaissance
literature
Lyric and desire
“The Sixteenth Century:
Introduction and Timeline"
(485-513); Sidney:
Astrophil and Stella (947-8,
975-92); Shakespeare:
Sonnets (1058-76)
Six
Allegory and the
disciplining of the self
Spenser: Book I of The
Faerie Queene (705-7, 714856)
Seven
Tragedy and alienation
Eight
Recess Week
Shakespeare, Hamlet
(Penguin)
None
Nine
Comedy and renewal
Shakespeare: The Merchant
of Venice (Penguin)
Ten
Epic heroism reconsidered
Milton, “Introduction”
(1785-9) and Paradise Lost,
Books 1 and 2 (1831-71)
Eleven
Introduction to Augustan
literature
Satire in the Age of
Enlightenment
Dryden, “Mac Flecknoe”
(2111-16); Pope,
“Introduction” (2493-96)
and The Rape of the Lock
(2513-31); Swift,
“Introduction” (2301-3) and
“A Modest Proposal”
(2462-67)
Twelve
Prose and the question of
“realism”
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Thirteen
Fourteen
Sensibility and modernity
Conclusion
Thomson (2860-61); Gray
(2862-69); Collins (287074); Goldsmith (2877-85);
Crabbe, (2886-7); Cowper,
“The Castaway” (2895-97);
Popular Ballads (2898-904)
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