Introduction to Literature

I conjure you all ... to believe with me, that there are many mysteries contained in poetry, which of purpose were written darkly, lest by profane wits it should be abused.

--Sidney, Defense of Poetry

Course description: This course offers a selective survey of major British authors from 700-1600. Our readings include selections from Old English, Middle English, and Renaissance literature, including Beowulf, Chaucer, Sidney, and Shakespeare. Classes will involve lectures and discussions of the texts, quizzes, a midterm, a final examination and two five-page papers (one of them quasi-creative).



Weekly Lecture Outlines:

1. Anglo-Saxon England (.ppt)

2. Caedmon's Hymn

3. The Wanderer

4. The Dream of the Rood

5. Beowulf Part 1

6. Beowulf Part 2

7. Beowulf Part 3

8. Beowulf Part 4

9. Conquest and Transition

10. Middle English Literature

11. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

12. The Conventions of Courtly Love

13. Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale

14. Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder

15. Henry Howard Early of Surrey

16. Queen Elizabeth I

17. Sidney's Defense, Astrophil & Stella