Thomas Frank Lockwood
Selections from wits and satirists; poems by John Dryden and Alexander Pope; plays by Dryden, William Congreve, and other wits; the great satires of Jonathan Swift, and the first stirring of the novel.
The writers and literature of England from 1660 to 1750. We will be reading plays, prose, and poetry, chosen to illustrate the variety as well as the creative force of the written word in this period, bringing to life (for example) the urban horrors of Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, the aristocratic dreamworld of Pope’s Rape of the Lock, the cheerful crooks and whores of The Beggar’s Opera, or the big people and little people of Gulliver’s Travels. Major authors covered include Dryden, Congreve, Defoe, Swift, Pope, Gay, and Fielding, with emphasis on careful reading for understanding and enjoyment of this literature in its social and cultural context. Two papers with revision, weekly one-page reading responses, mid-term, final. Workload toward the high end of the scale.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture/discussion. Participation essential.
Experience in critical reading of literary texts helpful. Background in this particular period not necessary.
Class assignments and grading
Two critical papers (4-5 pages), submitted in draft, then revised; mid-term and final exam covering course reading, with short essays and identification questions (meaning you have to have read the material closely and carefully); weekly one-page informal response papers; group work, including some performance reading of scenes from plays.
Critical papers and two exams about 2/3 of course grade; response papers, participation, improvement, about 1/3.