English 45A

Literature in English: Through Milton

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2015 Turner, James Grantham
MW 12-1 + discussion sections F 12-1 213 Wheeler

Book List

Greenblatt, S., gen. ed.: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1 ; Shakespeare, William: Hamlet


We will study the changing nature of creative writing “through” Milton, Spenser and Chaucer, but the point is to introduce many voices rather than studying just three authors. 45 is a lower-division course, a pre-required gateway to the English major; you can return to explore the texts that interest you more thoroughly, at a higher level. This will not be a strict chronological survey but more a sampling of key themes, as they are constructed in different genres and in different periods across a thousand years of turbulent history. What makes a hero or heroine that we can take seriously (epic and tragedy)? what makes us fall in love (desire and the lyric, including desire for God)? what makes us smile or nod in recognition (satire and comedy)? Larger, overarching questions will concern us throughout: what is the status of literature, and how does fiction relate to emotion? Along the way we will gain a sense of the evolving conception of art and the deep roots of English as a world language, a resource for every modern writer.

Our readings are all contained in just two books: the ninth edition of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, and Shakespeare's Hamlet. No formal preparation is required, but I would strongly recommend brushing up on Hamlet before term begins, as we will start and finish the course with this play, probably the most famous ever written.

Discussion Sections

101 Mansky, Joseph
F 12-1 209 Dwinelle
102 Garcia, Marcos Albert
F 12-1 223 Dwinelle

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