English 45A

Literature in English: Through Milton

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2010 Nolan, Maura
Nolan, Maura
MW 12-1 + discussion sections F 12-1 2 LeConte

Other Readings and Media

Donaldson, E., ed.: Beowulf; Heaney, S., ed.: Beowulf; Mann, J., ed.: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Marlowe, C.: Dr. Faustus; Dickson, D., ed.: Poetry of John Donne; Milton, J.: Paradise Lost


This course will focus on the central works of the early English literary tradition, beginning with Beowulf and ending with Paradise Lost. We will examine the texts in light of the cultures in which they were produced, asking ourselves why these works were written when they were written, and what the unfamiliar cultures of the Middle Ages and Renaissance have to say to us now. We will also focus on developing reading skills and on understanding the literary tradition as a set of interrelated texts and problems that recur over the course of centuries. We will examine these works as formal artifacts as well as historical documents. Students will work on close readings, on literary language, and on understanding generic distinctions as they functioned in the past and function now.

NOTE: This class will meet for the first time on Monday, August 30; discussion sections will not be held on Friday the 27th.

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