English 45A

Literature In English: Through Milton

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2007 Nolan, Maura
Nolan, Maura
MW 12-1, plus one hour of discussion section per week 50 Birge

Other Readings and Media

Heaney S., trans.: Beowulf; Donaldson, E., trans.: Beowulf; Chaucer, G.: The Canterbury Tales; Marlowe, C.: Dr. Faustus; Spenser, E.: The Faerie Queene; Milton, J.: Paradise Lost


This course will focus on the central works of the early English literary tradition, beginning with Beowulf and ending with Paradise Lost. We will examine the texts in light of the cultures in which they were produced, asking ourselves why these works were written when they were written, and what the unfamiliar cultures of the Middle Ages and Renaissance have to say to us now. We will also focus on developing reading skills and on understanding the literary tradition as a set of interrelated texts and problems that recur over the course of centuries. We will examine these works as formal artifacts as well as historical documents. Students will work on close readings, on literary language, and on understanding generic distinctions as they functioned in the past and function now. Expect to write three papers, to take a midterm, and a final exam.

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