History of English Literature
Tuesday & Thursday 10:30 - 11:45

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 : The Middle Ages and The Renaissance (Sogang University Press). Students are also encouraged to buy Volume One of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, not only for this course but for other courses in earlier English literature

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.

This course will consist mainly of lectures. The last half of each class will often be spent in small-group discussion. 

Course Outline

Week 1 (No class Tuesday) Introduction to Pre-Conquest England
Week 2  Elegy and Heroic
Week 3 Medieval Romance: Love and Chivalry, King Arthur
Week 4 (No class Thursday) Chaucer
Week 5 Chaucer;  Medieval Lyric Poetry
Week 6  Medieval Drama
Week 7  Renaissance poetry : Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney,
Week 8 Mid-term Exams
Week 9 Utopia; The Faerie Queene;
Week 10 Renaissance Drama: Marlowe, Shakespeare
Week 11 17th-century poetry: John Donne, Ben Jonson, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell
Week 12 John Milton; the Civil War; Dryden
Week 13 Intellectual writing: Francis Bacon; John Hobbes; Sir Thomas Browne
Week 14 Augustan satire: Pope, Swift; Gray, Collins and the Pre-romantics
Week 15 The Novel: Defoe; Richardson, Fielding; (Thurs) Final Exams 

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 will provide the full text of most works we study, or you can use the online resources linked below.

Weeks 1 - 2
Reading :The Middle Ages pages 1 - 33. See also Table of Dates
Works : Bede's History (Caedmon's Hymn); Beowulf; The Wanderer; The Dream of the Rood

Week 3
Reading : The Middle Ages pages 35 - 70 (History and Romance); 101 - 103 (Sir Gawain)
Works : Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Weeks 4 - 5
Reading : The Middle Ages pages 123 - 149 (Chaucer); 104 - 108 (poetry)
Works : Extracts from the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Medieval Lyrics (texts in The Middle Ages 104-8 and I Have a Young Sister. Ballads : Lord Randall; The Three Ravens

Week 6
Reading : The Middle Ages pages 191 - 207 (drama),
Works : The Second Shepherd's Play; Everyman.

Week 7
Reading :  The Renaissance pages 61, 69 - 72, (Spenser) 85 -7, 93 - 99, 101 (Sidney),
Works : Wyatt They Flee from me;  Sidney Astrophel and Stella sonnets 1, 47, Second Song;  Spenser Amoretti sonnets 34, 37, 54 .

Week 8 : Mid-term Exams

Week 9
Reading : The Renaissance pages 1 - 53 (general), 159 - 160
Works : More Utopia; Spenser Faerie Queene Book I,  Marlowe 'The Passionate Shepherd' and Ralegh 'The Nymph's Reply'; Ralegh 'The Lie'

Week 10
Reading : The Renaissance pages 103 - 113, 131 - 148
Drama before Shakespeare, Shakespeare; Songs 'When Daisies Pied,' 'Blow, Blow'sonnets 29, 73, 116, 144; Campion 'Rose-cheeked Laura,' 'There is a Garden'.

Week 11
Reading : The Renaissance pages 177 - 178 (society), 189 - 234 (Donne & Jonson), 253 -263 (Herbert), 294 - 301 (Marvell)
Works : John Donne 'The Good Morrow', 'Song', 'The Sun Rising', 'The Canonization', 'The Flea', 'The Ecstasy', '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

Week 12
Reading : The Renaissance pages 178 - 187 (society), 303 - 325 (Milton)
Works : Milton: On the Morning of Christ's Nativity; 'L'Allegro', 'Il Penseroso', Paradise Lost.

Week 13
Reading : The Renaissance pages 331 - 355 (thinkers)
Works : Bacon 'Of Truth'; Sir Thomas Browne's Urn-burial

Week 14
Reading : The Renaissance pages 357 - 361 (fiction)
Works : Alexander Pope An Essay on Man (opening of Epistle Two); Epistle to a Lady

Week 15
Works : 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 Monday Week 3)
 The Vikings; Anglo-Saxon church buildings; the Beowulf manuscript;  Charlemagne; the Bayeux Tapestry.

File 2 : The Middle Ages (due Monday Week 6)
     part 1: Chivalry
 The royal court; a knight's armour;  a castle; minstrels; tournaments and jousting;  a cathedral;  a monastery; an 'illuminated' medieval manuscript.
     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 12)
Michelangelo; Leonardo da Vinci;  the New World; Erasmus; 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 15)
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. 

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 


Grading will be based on the quality of the 4 Research Files(5% each), and the result of the Mid-term and Final Exams (25% each).

In addition, students will write a Midterm Essay on "How 'critical' are Chaucer's portraits of people in the General Prologue?" (15%) and a Final Essay (15%) on: "One poet whose work I especially enjoyed during this semester"