English R1A

Reading and Composition: Special Friends

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Spring 2013 Shelley, Jonathan
TTh 11-12:30 222 Wheeler

Book List

Rossetti, Christina: Goblin Market; Shakespeare, William: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Shakespeare, William: Julius Caesar; Shakespeare, William: Two Gentlemen of Verona; Trimble, John R.: Writing with Style

Other Readings and Media

Selections from Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Plutarch, the Bible, Augustine of Hippo, Montaigne, Emerson, and others. The movie Thelma & Louise, possibly.


This course will examine theories and depictions of friendship in a variety of philosophical and literary texts. What makes for a good friend? What circumstances are necessary for friendship to exist? What responsibilities does a friend have to another friend? What is the difference between friendship and romantic love? Is friendship between men the same as friendship between women? We will consider these and similar questions by reading dialogues, stories, and essays on friendship ranging from classical antiquity to the Bible to 19th-century America and will concentrate on the depiction of friendship in three English Renaissance plays—Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Julius Caesar—and the Victorian poem Goblin Market.

The primary goal of this class is to develop the skills for effective scholarly writing. We will use the works we encounter throughout the semester to read critically, gather evidence, formulate interesting arguments, and organize claims into persuasive essays. Over the course of the semester, students will produce several papers of varying length. These papers will be developed through a gradual process of outlining, drafting, editing, and revising.

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