English 180E

The Epic: Imagined Communities and the Classical Epic

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2019 Altieri, Charles F.
TTh 5-6:30 120 Wheeler

Book List

Dante: Inferno; Dante: Purgatorio; Dante : Paradiso; Homer: The Iliad; Homer: The Odyssey; Milton, John: Paradise Lost; Pound, Ezra: Cantos of Ezra Pound--on bspace; Vergil: The Aeneid


I am  convinced that the classical epic is crucial for a literary education whatever field you specialize in—for the profound encounters it offers, for the intensity and vivacity of the memorable scenes the works construct, and for the range of influences and challenges it has created for subsequent writers of all periods in Western Literature. I am mainly interested in how the authors achieve a deep sense of human experience by which the past becomes present and we expand our appreciation of how literature engages life for fairly large populations.  These texts present passsionate states based in publically significant emotions which in my view show the best that literary imaginations have been able to create.   I love this material and am convinced I can help you get to the same  commitment.  But despite this love I will abridge Paradise Lost and perhaps the Aeneid.  There will be two papers totaling 10 pages and a final.  Midterm is possible.  I expect regular attendance.

This course satsifies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

The English Department is working on expanding the class size for this offering. If you would like to enroll in this course after it fills, please put yourself on the wait list, and if we are able to accommodate you, you will be added as soon as possible (no later than the first week of classes).

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