English R1A

Reading & Composition: The Matter of Troy

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2014 Hobson, Jacob
TTh 9:30-11 222 Wheeler

Book List

Chaucer, Geoffrey: Troilus and Criseyde; Homer: The Iliad; Shakespeare, William: Troilus and Cressida; Virgil: The Aeneid

Other Readings and Media

Selections from Saga of the Ynglings; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain; Snorri Sturluson, Prose Edda; and John Lydgate, Troy Book.

Required film: Troy (Wolfgang Petersen)


What do we know about Troy and the Trojan War? What has anyone ever known about Troy and the Trojan War? In this course, we will read ancient, medieval, and early modern texts that will help us sketch the contours of any possible answer to this question. We will be particularly interested in the ways these texts construct Troy to their own ends and in relation to their own conceptions of history. We will, along the way, discuss how our own conceptions of history relate to those of the texts we read.

Although the matter of Troy will be the subject of this course, the object of the course will be to improve your writing and critical abilities in a way that will be helpful regardless of your major. We will discuss what makes an interesting question, how to form a compelling argument, and how to compose that argument in clear, artful prose. You will write and revise four short papers over the course of the semester.

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