English 45A

Literature in English: Through Milton

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2013 Goodman, Kevis
MW 3-4 + discussion sections F 3-4 213 Wheeler

Book List

Chaucer, Geoffrey: The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue; Milton, John: Paradise Lost; Spenser, Edmund: The Faerie Queene: Book One

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader for English 45A-2: includes Renaissance and early 17th Century lyrics, selected essays, and reading guides.  There will also be a course bSpace site, with handouts and other materials.


This course offers an introduction to English literary history from the late fourteenth to the late seventeenth centuries. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, and John Milton’s Paradise Lost will be our main texts, but we will also look at selected shorter poems from the Renaissance and early seventeenth century – Donne, Herbert, and Marvell are among the likely possibilities. In addition to the historical issues specific to each text, topics for discussion will include: changes within the English language; tensions between received authority (literary, religious, or political) and experience; poets’ readings of their predecessors; challenges to didacticism posed by playful literary form; competing ideas about gender; shifting definitions of place and personhood; and quests of various kinds. Along the way, we will probe the uses and implications of a range of literary modes, genres, and forms (epic, romance, lyric, allegory, irony, and others).

Please note that this class will first meet on Wednesday, September 4; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 6.

Discussion Sections

201 Lee, Richard Z
F 3-4 209 Dwinelle
202 Yu, Esther
F 3-4 215 Dwinelle

Other Recent Sections of This Course

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