E301 1950 WAREH
Literatures in English to 1600

9:30a-10:45a TR (30) 3 cr.

OPEN TO MAJORS ONLY. DECLARED MINORS OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION FROM BH442.

This course offers an introduction to the literature of England from the 8th to the 16th century; we will not, of course, attempt exhaustive coverage of this timeframe, but we will aim for a sense of some of the characteristics of Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, and Renaissance literature. Readings will be drawn from a variety of genres, and will include Beowulf, lyric poetry, drama, and selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Spenser's Faerie Queene. While our primary focus will be the texts themselves, and what we can learn about them through close readings, we will also consider the cultural contexts that helped shape the literature of different periods. Some of the topics and themes that will particularly engage our attention include: religious and heroic virtue; the changing nature of nobility and honor; the role of the quest; and the poetics of love.

Active, informed participation is expected. Course requirements include two papers, short informal written assignments, a midterm, and a final. The required text is the Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume I.