Fall Semester 2000    12-047
History of English Literature
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am

Taught by Brother Anthony (An Sonjae) in English.

This course surveys the literature written in England before Romanticism (1789). It will include study of the main aspects of English social and political history, which form the background reflected in the literary works.

The main text-books will be Brother Anthony's books on Literature in English Society : (1) The Middle Ages and (2)The Renaissance (Sogang University Press). All students are expected to have access to the World Wide Web and to know how to explore it for useful resources. Brother Anthony's Home Page offers a list of some of the main sites for medieval and renaissance literature and culture.

Detailed Course Description

Students will have read the following pages in the two volumes by Brother Anthony, focusing on the writers and works listed, as preparation for class. The Norton Anthology (any edition) will provide the full text of most works we study, for manyyou can use the online resources linked below.

Week 1
Old English Literature
Reading :The Middle Ages pages 1 - 33. See also Table of Dates
Works : The Wanderer; Beowulf; The Seafarer  version by Ezra Pound.

Week 2
The Great Works of European medieval literature
Reading : The Middle Ages pages 35 - 56, 59 - 61, 75-79;
Works : The Song of Roland;  the Troubadors; Tristan & Iseult; Lancelot, Perceval, The Grail; Dante.

Weeks 3 - 5 (No classes Monday & Wednesday of Week 3)
Reading : The Middle Ages pages 123 - 149
Works : Extracts from the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. The Nun's Priest's Tale.

Weeks 6
Later Medieval Literature
Reading : The Middle Ages pages 191 - 207
Works : The Second Shepherd's Play, Everyman, (Norton Anthology)

Week 7
The Renaissance
Reading : The Renaissance pages 1 - 11, 24 - 25, 29 -39, 43 - 53 (general), 61 - 79 (Spenser); 159 - 160, 93 - 99, 101 (Sidney),
Works :  Marlowe 'The Passionate Shepherd' and Ralegh 'The Nymph's Reply'; Sidney Astrophel and Stella; Shakespeare, Sonnets 29, 73, 116, 144. Spenser (survey)

Week 8 : Mid-term Exams

Week 9
Renaissance Drama
Reading : The Renaissance pages 103 - 113
Marlowe Dr. Faustus  Acts 1 & 5  (Norton Anthology)

Week 10 - 11
Reading : The Renaissance pages 131 - 148
Shakespeare King Lear    (Norton Anthology)

Week 12 - 13
17th-century Poetry
Reading : The Renaissance pages 177 - 178 (society), 189 - 234 (Donne & Jonson), 253 -263 (Herbert), 294 - 301 (Marvell), 303 - 325 (Milton)
Works : John Donne 'Song', 'The Sun Rising', 'Batter My Heart';  'A Valediction Forbidding Mourning'; Jonson 'On my First Daughter',  'On my First Son', 'To Celia'; Herbert 'The Pulley', 'The Altar', 'Easter Wings',  'Love 3'; Marvell 'To His Coy Mistress'. Herrick To the Virgins. Milton: 'Il Penseroso'

Week 14 - 15
The 18th Century
Reading : The Renaissance pages 357 - 361 (fiction)
Works : Alexander Pope An Essay on Man (opening of Epistle Two); Epistle to a Lady; Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard; William Collins Ode to Evening

Research Assignments

Students will prepare a series of research files. They should write a short note on each topic listed below, and find one or two pictures to illustrate each topic. Notes should be neatly hand-written. Students may include one or two other topics they find interesting.

File 1 : Preconquest (Anglo-Saxon) England. (Due Wednesday Week 2)
 The Vikings; the Sutton Hoo treasure; Anglo-Saxon church buildings; the Beowulf manuscript;  the Bayeux Tapestry.

File 2 : The Middle Ages (due Monday Week 6)
     part 1: Chivalry
 The medieval royal court; a knight in armour;  a castle; minstrels; tournaments and jousting;
     part 2 : Chaucer and his World
 Richard II; the Black Death; English medieval church buildings (Canterbury Cathedral); Pilgrimage; the Ellesmere Manuscript; the first printed books.

File 3 : The Renaissance (due Monday Week 11)
Michelangelo; Leonardo da Vinci;  Sir Thomas More. Henry VIII; Queen Elizabeth; the Spanish Armada; Shakespeare: find pictures of his theatre; his works in print (Quartos and Folio); his memorial at Stratford. Elizabethan houses and lifestyles.

File 4 : The 17th and 18th Centuries (due Monday Week 14)
The Civil War; Cavaliers and Roundheads; Cromwell, the execution of King Charles; the Pilgrim Fathers; 17th &18th century houses; the Great Fire of London; a church designed by Sir Christopher Wren; a coffeeshop, the first newspapers.


Students will write a Midterm Essay about Chaucer (Max 45 points) and a Final Essay  on one 17th-century Poet (Max 45 points)


Grading will be based on the quality of the 4 Research Files (Max 10 points each), and the result of the Mid-term and Final Exams (Max 45 points each).

Extra Reading Materials

Rogers, Pat, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature. New York: Oxford UP, 1990.
Wynne-Davies, Marion, ed. The Bloomsbury Guide to English Literature. New York: Prentice Hall, 1990.
Colyle, Martin, Peter Garside, Malcolm Kelsall, and John Peck, eds. Encyclopedia of Literature and Criticism. London: Routledge, 1991