Survey of English Literature I, a compulsory course for 2nd-year students, offers an overview of English Literature from the late Medieval period, through the Renaissance, to the Restoration and the dawn of the Neoclassical Age. Focusing on a single theme (love and marriage), it attempts to trace the development of this theme through the various historical periods with the purpose to show its various transformations. The emphasis is on the literary texts, but equally important are the various con-texts (social, religious, ideological, political) that determine their meaning and show the wider forces at work in the shaping of ideas and social practices. The course reading-list includes but is not limited to the following: selections from Tristan and Isolde, Chaucer’s “The Franklin’s Tale,” Castiglione’s The Courtier (book IV), a variety of Elizabethan sonnets, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, examples of “metaphysical” poems (by Donne and Marvell), selections from Milton’s Paradise Lost, selections from Pepys’s Diary, and samples of work by women writers like Anne Finch and Mary Astell. The reading list is subject to revision and specified further on the course syllabus. The general aim of the course is to enable students to understand how the literary representation of a certain theme relates to the changing historical conditions and at the same time to familiarize them with the development of English literature over a course of about six centuries. Expected learning outcomes:
Assessment: Final Exam
Important Note: For an updated syllabus, complete reading list, required texts, assignments and supplementary material, please consult the course's e-learning site (https://elearning.auth.gr). Survey of English Literature I is not recommended for Erasmus students.