Faculty Course Description
ENG210: British Literature I
Dr. Mark Taylor
Office: Evans 231
Office phone: 238-5905
A selection of the most important and enduring works of poetry and prose fiction in English produced from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century. Students will approach the works in terms of their formal, verbal, and thematic elements.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, volume I, 6th edition
W. Shakespeare. Antony and Cleopatra. ed. Andrews and Randall. Everyman, 1989
Purpose of the Course:
In our society we generally expect that an educated person, among other things, 1) is able to display a basic familiarity with some literary works of recognized importance, 2) has developed some capacity for critical thinking (evidenced through critical reading and writing), and 3) has mastered a basic competence in writing expository prose. We might also hope that an educated person also has developed some capacity to “appreciate” literature on its own terms and to understand the relevancy of the truths therein to one’s own life.
In this course, students will receive a sound introduction to a selection of British literature from the Middle Ages through the Seventeenth Century: the major authors and when they lived, the spirit of their times, what they wrote, and why these works are significant history and still worth reading today. Students will also develop their powers of close reading as they read these works. The ability to read texts closely forms one necessary correlative to critical thinking. The other correlative is critical writing, along with an increased competency in basic writing skills (logic, organization, style, grammar). The following assignments are designed with these ends in mind.
1) Students will learn tools by which they may improve their ability to analyze texts. 2) Students will increase their capacity to write critically. 3) Students will come to understand earlier British literature through class lecture and direct engagement with primary texts, both in the original and in translation. 4) Students will listen to and recite poetry to gain aural appreciation of literature.
1) Students will learn tools by which they may improve their ability to analyze texts, develop their powers of close reading, and improve their critical writing skills through two assigned essays and two objective/essay exams. 2) Students will increase their understanding of assigned readings through class lecture, class discussion, and open and directed journal writing. 3) Students will be required to recite 20–30 lines of poetry from memory.
Student’s Reading List:
(See Required Reading list)
Golding, W. “Thinking as a Hobby”. (Handout)
Lewis, C. S. “Meditation in a Toolshed”. (Handout)
Davenport, G. “Finding”. (Handout)
Frost, R. “Education by Poetry”. (Handout)
Morris, D. “Altruistic Behaviour”. (Handout)
Viking Code. Berry College, 2002.