en222 Fall 2000 TR 9:30-11 CAS 322 Levine

PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT TAKEN EN 104 OR WHOSE SAT VERBAL DID NOT EXEMPT THEM FROM 104 SHOULD NOT BE IN THIS CLASS. THOSE WHO HAVE NOT TAKEN (OR ARE NOT TAKING THIS SEMESTER) EN 220 MAY EXPERIENCE ABNORMAL DIFFICULTY WRITING PAPERS AND EXAMS.

MUCH OF THE COURSE IS DEVOTED TO RECOGNIZING CONTINUITY AND CHANGE; THEREFORE REMARKS ABOUT THE FUNCTIONS OF THE GRAECO-ROMAN AND JUDAEO-CHRISTIAN MATERIAL IMBEDDED IN ALMOST EVERYTHING WE READ THIS SEMESTER WILL HAVE LITTLE MEANING FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE NOT TAKEN HU 221 OR THE EQUIVALENT.

If absence and tardiness are vital for your self-esteem, think seriously about choosing some other course (see remarks on grading below). Normal undergraduates have almost always regretted taking more than 16 credits or working more than 15 hours a week while taking this course. Anyone working full-time should be taking no other college-level course.

The two mandatory written assignments must be typed, and submitted at 9:30 A.M. on the due date. Late papers are categorically unacceptable. People without word processors may use one of the the University's word processors without charge (see me for more information). The excuse, "my printer broke," is unacceptable, since you can print out your files, either in person or by ftp, at no expense on the printers located in the basement of Information Technology.

YOU ARE EXPECTED TO READ THE INTRODUCTORY MATERIAL PROVIDED IN THE NORTON ANTOHOLOGY FOR EACH HISTORICAL PERIOD AND EACH AUTHOR, AND TO DISPLAY EVIDENCE OF SUCH READING IN YOUR REMARKS IN CLASS, AS WELL AS IN YOUR EXAMS AND PAPERS. BE PREPARED EACH MEETING TO ANSWER EITHER IN WRITING OR VIVA VOCE AT LEAST ONE OF THE QUESTIONS ON THE SYLLABUS FOR THAT DAY. YOU MAY WRITE OPTIONAL PAPERS OF ANY LENGTH ON ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS AFTER DISCUSSING THE TOPIC WITH ME. GRADES ON OPTIONAL PAPERS WILL COUNT ONLY IF THEY IMPROVE YOUR GRADE FOR THE COURSE.

Read and attempt to use the section on prosody in the back of the anthology, pp. 2944-2950, for each class, until you have straightened out the terms in your own mind.

Please pay careful attention to the syllabus and to the sheet of 27. Not asking questions about instructions that are not clear on the sheet of 27 may produce lower grades. Some students have been too pig-headed to take the sheet of 27 in the spirit in which it was intended.

Sept 5 introduction: Old English history, literature, language, and genres. English prosody. introduction to Middle English, Chaucer.

Sept 7, 12 Read the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, and prepare a 3-minute oral report, or submit a 3-page double-spaced essay, speculating on two lists, and the relationship between them: the pilgrims in order of moral appeal; the pilgrims in order of their appeal as fictional characters. Keep in mind Gombrich's observations that, "without some starting point, some initial schema, we could never get hold of the flux of experience. Without categories, we could not sort out impressions. Paradoxically, it has turned out that it matters relatively little what these first categories are." Prepare to read 10 lines from the Prologue (not the first 10 lines) aloud in class, with an approximately medieval pronunciation, demonstrating some awareness in your reading that Chaucer wrote verse. For help in pronunciation, see the explanatory material in the Norton anthology, and be sure to make use of the records in Mugar library (Music library, second floor). Find as many Middle English words as you can that may be called faux amis ("gentle," for example). Try to compose an imitation or parody of Chaucer by describing in heroic couplets (and in Middle English to the extent possible) someone you know or observe in the Student Union (or some other public place). Do you agree with Dryden's appraisal of Chaucer (pp. 2121-2122)? Does Chaucer show the "fineness of raillery" that Dryden admires (pp. 2120-2121)? For more Middle English texts on the web, go to http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/me/me.html; for the complete Canterbury Tales, with glossary and translation, go to http://www.euronet.nl/~sk87137/

Sept 14,19 The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale. Prepare another ten lines to be read aloud in class. What is Chaucer's attitude towards Alice's rhetorical competence? Submit a one-page, single-spaced essay speculating on the relationship (dramatic, thematic, psychological, rhetorical) between the sensibility Alice reveals in her autobiographical Prologue and the sensibility of the teller of her tale? The ultimate student will also re-read Cantos XV-XVII of Dante's Paradiso. Sept 21 QUIZ ON CHAUCER: TRANSLATE AND COMMENT UPON SEVERAL PASSAGES; NO BOOKS, NO NOTES, NO CHOICES.

Sept 26 Beowulf: read Tolkien's "Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics" (Fulk 14-44); RL, "Ingeld and Christ; a Medieval Problem," Viator 2 (1971) pp. 105-128.

Sept 28 Gawain and the Green Knight. For a summary of central problems in the poem see Lawrence Besserman, "The Idea of the Green Knight," ELH 53 (1986), 219-239 PR1.F34 (in microfilm only at Mugar). Oct 3 Elizabethan lyric: Wyatt's, "The long love that in my thought doth harbor," and Surrey's "Love that doth reign and live within my thought" are translations of the same poem by Petrarch. What are the differences (diction, rhythm, tone)? Write a one-page, single-spaced paper in which you attempt, by comparing and contrasting what each poet does in his translation of the same poem, to characterize the voice of each. Extra credit for those who try to support their characterizations by citing other poems by Wyatt and Surrey.

Oct 5 More Elizabethan lyric: Shakespeare, Sidney. Read the selections from Sidney's Defense of Poesy. (1) How well does Sidney defend poetry against the charge that it is, "the mother of lies?" (2) Sidney's "Thou blind man's mark" and Shakespeare's Sonnet 129, "Th'expense of spirit in a waste of shame" express distaste for the same activity. What are some of the differences? By reading other poems by each poet can you characterize the voice of each, and does this process then help you to distinguish between them? Read the selection from The Anatomy of Melancholy, pp. 1565-1569. Is Burton talking about the same topic? in the same way? Read the selection from Hoby's translation of Castiglione's Courtier (pp. 579-593). What solution to the problem does Bembo offer? Rereading Diotima's speech as Socrates gives it in Plato's Symposium will increase your appreciation of Castiglione. Those annoyed by the prose style of Sidney, Burton, Browne, Spenser, Lyly, should consider whether Bacon’s style is preferable (comparing and contrasting the two versions of "On Studies", p. 1541). Some have found Bacon’s remarks on Idols, particularly on the Idols of the Marketplace (p. 1545), helpful.

Any of the preceding questions or statements may be used as the basis for an optional one-page single-spaced paper.

Oct 12 (double-spaced) in which you consider, on the basis of your reading of GGK, Beowulf, and Curtius ("Heroes and Rulers," pp. 167-182) whether Beowulf or Gawain conforms more exactly or more thoroughly to the conventional literary paradigm for classical heroes. The best papers are not content with making univocal, reductive assertions about the poems and their heroes, but instead show some concern with the uncertain nature of the terms they are using and the texts they are discussing. Do not discuss the two poems serially, but organize your paper according to an argument that permits you to discuss both poems in almost every paragraph. Reading Tolkien's "Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics" has helped some but not all students. No paper should fail to consider the possibility that Curtius is both an aid and a hindrance. Those who aspire to receive an F (1) will fail to show that they have read both works carefully (2) will pay little attention to the sheet of 27. According to what statistics we have, students who show up for a conference with me -- on the basis of even hastily prepared notes -- before handing in the paper, receive significantly higher grades than those who do not.

Oct 17 Fairy Queen Book I, Cantos i-vi. (1) Erasmus defended his panegyric of Philip of Burgundy (composed in 1504) thus:

No other way of correcting a prince is so efficacious as presenting in the guise of flattery the pattern of a really good prince. Thus do you instill virtues and remove faults in such a manner that you seem to urge the prince to the former and restrain him from the latter (Epistles 179, 180).

Do you see any evidence that Spenser was working on the same hypothesis? (2) Find a line that seems to correspond to the schemes set forth in the Norton Anthology's appendix on prosody, and one that apparently does not. Are pp. 194-195 of Curtius relevant, helpful for understanding Canto I, stanzas viii-ix? Read the Letter to Raleigh, (pp. 624-627).

Oct 19 Fairy Queen Book I, Cantos vii-xii. Continue to search for lines that correspond and lines that do not correspond to the prosodic schemes offered in the appendix to the Norton Anthology.

Oct 24 Fairy Queen Book II, canto 12; Book III.6 and III.12. Can you distinguish between the Bower of Bliss and the Garden of Adonis? Read Curtius, pp. 183-202, and speculate on some of the ways in which Spenser has made use of, and perhaps transcended, the prefabricated locus amoenus . Donne’s Satire III (pp. 1257-62) shares some of the same theological material Spenser uses in the Fairy Queen; does Donne get different results?

Oct 26 Marlowe, Faustus. (1) Is Marlowe's blank verse unusual? Look at The English Faust book: edited by John Henry Jones. 1994. PT923 .E5 and try to defend Marlowe against the charge of plagiarism (optional paper). For other plays, poems, and translations by Marlowe see: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Texts/Marlowe.html

Oct 31 Shakespeare, King Lear. Show some sensitivity to the use of the word "nature" in the play.

Nov 2 Jonson, Volpone. Can you distinguish Jonson's verse from Marlowe's? from Shakespeare's? What is Jonson's attitude towards Italians? Is his attitude towards Englishmen in Italy exactly like that of Roger Ascham, pp. 567-569? Read Dryden's remarks on Jonson and Shakespeare (pp. 2117-2118).

Nov 7 TEST ON DRAMA. Identifications and an essay. Read Thomas Nashe's Defense of Plays, pp. 1202-1204. What do you learn about the Elizabethan theatre from these pages? Do the plays you have read this semester entirely conform to Nashe's descriptions, as well as to his stated and implied aesthetic and moral standards? The ultimate student may make some use of Jonas Barish, The Antitheatrical Prejudice, Berkeley, 1981 PN2049.B37.

Nov 9 Seventeenth-Century Lyric: Donne. "The Sun Rising," "The Canonization," "Air and Angels," "The Flea," "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning," "The Ecstasy," "Elegy 19," Holy Sonnets 5, 7, 10, 14. Read also Meditation 17 (p. 1277-1278) and Izaak Walton's description of Donne's death (pp. 1583-1587). Do Donne's poems seem the work of the man who wrote Meditation 17? of the man Walton describes? Has Donne anticipated Proust's epigram, "L'anatomie n'est peut-être pas ce que choisirait un coeur tendre, si l'on avait le choix"? What are the significant differences between Donne's "Death be not proud," and Herbert's "Death"? Read the selection from Thomas Browne's Hydrotaphia (pp. 1578-1582). What do Browne and Donne share? Can you also distinguish between them? Does Jonson ("To Donne," p. 1395) admire Donne for the same reasons you do? Does Thomas Carew’s "Elegy upon the Death of Donne" (pp. 1656-1658) help identify Donn’es peculiar characteristics? For a German poet operating in a similar tradition see M.S. Schindler, The Sonnets of Andreas Gryphius, Gainesville 1971 (particularly pp. 140-167). For French devotional poetry begin with Terence Cave, Devotional Poetry in France 1570-1613, London 1969 BV4818.F69 (several optional papers here) See also Johnson on Metaphysical Wit (pp. 2736-2738) and Addison on Wit (pp. 2494-2498).?

Nov 14 Seventeenth-Century Lyric II: Herbert. "Jordan (1)," "The Windows," "The Collar," "The Pulley," "Love (3)."

Why, I would ask, is most religious verse so bad, and why does so little religious verse reach the highest levels of poetry? Largely, I think, because of a pious insincerity. The capacity for writing poetry is rare; the capacity for religious emotion of the first intensity is rare; and it is to be expected that the existence of both capacities in the same individual should be rarer still. People who write devotional verse are usually writing as they want to feel, rather than as they do feel." T.S. Eliot, After Strange Gods.

Sidney's "Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show," and Herbert's "Who says that fictions only and false hair" (Jordan I) express discomfort with the artificial nature of language. Do they express their discomfort in significantly different ways? In what ways does the following poem carry out and in what ways does it resist the implied and stated prescriptions found in Sidney and Herbert?

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant

Success in Circuit liesToo bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind.

Nov 16 Seventeenth-century Lyric: Crashaw, "The Flaming Heart"; Marvell, "To his Coy mistress," "The Garden"; Vaughan, "The Retreat," "The World." Does Crashaw's poetry require the kind of argument that Bernard of Clairvaux (Sermo 70.1) offered in defense of the Song of Songs?

We must remember that love reveals itself, not by words or phrases, but by action and experience. It is Love which speaks here, and if anyone wishes to understand it, let him first love. Otherwise it would be impossible for a cold heart to grasp the meaning of language so inflamed.

Nov 21 Milton's sonnets, "Lycidas". Are you of the same opinion as Samuel Johnson (pp. 2738-2739)? " ... the diction is harsh, the rhymes uncertain, and the numbers unpleasing." Do you find the same problems in the passages from Donn’es "Anatomy of the World" on pp. 1262-1268?.

Nov 28-Dec 12 Paradise Lost. Sensible students will re-read the first four or five books of Genesis and the opening of Vergil's Aeneid. Is Milton's idea of blank verse different from Shakespeare's? Are you of the same opinion as Samuel Johnson (pp. 2740-2746)? What is your response to Addison's appraisal (pp. 2494-2498)? For a text of PL unusually well annotated with hypertext links see: http://www.dartmouth.edu/research/milton/reading_room/pl/book_1/index.html

Those bothered by problems of grace and free will could do worse than look at Augustine:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1510.htm

also useful: http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/milton/plost.htm

Dec 14 or earlier PAPER DUE Read Vendler pp. 25-56, Martz pp. 249-320, Fish Self-Consuming pp. 156-223; Lewalski 283-316. Those looking for even more strenuous activity can add Flesch pp. 22-84, and/or Stewart 199-247. Write an essay (7 pages, double-spaced, one-inch margins, in a ten-point font, in which you attempt to determine which of at least three readings accounts for more of what Herbert is doing. Consider their areas of agreement, disagreement, and what is unique to each reading. Papers which show no signs of having read the poems themselves are unacceptable. Obey the sheet of 27 slavishly.

Dec 15 12:30-2:30 FINAL EXAM (CANNOT be taken at any other time) Passages from Spenser and Milton.

OFFICE HOURS: at 236 Bay State Road, rm. 321 (tel. 358-2535), TR 11-11:45, 2-2:30. If these times are not convenient, appointments may be made at other mutually convenient times. No harm will come to you if you call me at home (491-3958) 7:00-9:00 weeknights, or on Saturday or Sunday 10 AM - 9:00 PM. If I am not home, PLEASE leave your name, telephone number, and, if possible, hours you expect to be at that number. My E-mail address:

bobl@bu.edu

The course involves significant amounts of reading (a minimum of 6-8 hours a week normally) that must be done on time. Written exercises must be submitted at noon on the due date, in grammatical, idiomatic English. Papers done at home must be typed, with one-inch margins, and PROOFREAD SCRUPULOUSLY. The style sheet distributed at the first meeting indicates specific penalties for specific crimes against the English language; in this area, justice outweighs mercy.

Criteria for grading: in no case can your grade exceed the percentage produced by dividing the amount of time you are present by the amount of time I am present; exams and papers count 90% (Chaucer quiz 10%; first paper 20%; drama quiz 10%; second paper 25%; final exam 25%). Performance in class can add as much as a letter, if written work is at least tolerable. Merely sociable responses in class discussion are welcome, but add nothing to the grade. Remarks that demonstrate familiarity with the primary texts produce higher grades; remarks that demonstrate familiarity with secondary material as well as primary texts produce superior letters of recommendation. Conferences: you are expected to put in at least two appearances during the semester. The time to express your problems about papers and exams is before the day on which the paper is due, or the exam is to be taken. If you think that the grade you receive for any of

your work is mysterious or unfair, sulking in silence or heaping maledictions upon my head behind my back are less useful strategies than appearing at my office and demanding clarification, justice, satisfaction.

REQUIRED TEXT

Norton Anthology of English Literature, Seventh Edition, volume I.

RECOMMENDED TEXTS

GENERAL

N. Frye, Anatomy of Criticism PN81 F57.

E. Auerbach, Mimesis PN56.R3.F53. and Literary Language etc. PA8027 A813.

E.R. Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. PN674 F53

C.S. Lewis, Allegory of Love, Oxford 1936 PN688 .F36

 

 

 

MIDDLE AGES

Jacques Le Goff, The Medieval Imagination, Chicago, 1988. PQ155 M27 L413 1988

C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image PN671 F64.

RENAISSANCE

J. Seznec, The Survival of the Pagan Gods in the Renaissance BR135.S483

E. Wind, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance N6915.F58.F671.

William Kerrigan and Gordon Braden, The Idea of the Renaissance CB361 K37 1989

E.M.W. Tilyard, The Elizabethan World Picture PR428 P5 F60

BEOWULF

R.D. Fulk, Interpretations of Beowulf, Bloomington 1991. Tolkien 14-44; Magoun 45-65; Brodeur 66-87.

CHAUCER

C. Muscatine, Chaucer and the French Tradition PR1912 F7 F57.

D.W. Robertson, Preface to Chaucer PR1924 F62

Caedmon TC 1226 The poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer. Caedmon TC 1226. [1967]

PR1068 .K63 1976 Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Knight's tale London : Argo, c1976

Caedmon TC 1223 Chaucer, Geoffrey, Canterbury tales: The miller's tale [and] the reeve's tale.

Caedmon TC 1151 Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury tales.

Argo ZPL 1003- 1004 Chaucer, Geoffrey, Troilus and Criseyde. Argo ZPL 1003-1004. [1971]

Argo RG 401 Chaucer, Geoffrey, Prologue to the Canterbury tales. [Phonodisc]

for the complete Canterbury Tales, with glossary and translation, go to the web address:

http://www.euronet.nl/~sk87137/

SPENSER

G. Hough, Preface to the Fairy Queen PR2358. A7 F62.

SHAKESPEARE

W. Carroll, The Metamorphosis of Shakespearean Comedy. PR2981.C37.1985.

J. Siemon, Shakespearean Iconoclasm. PR3072 S53 1985.

 

MILTON

Robert Adams, Ikon: Milton and the Modern Critics, PR3588.F66

Alciati, Latin Emblems PN6349.A42.1985. 2 vols.

Stanley Fish, Surprised by Sin, NY 1967 PR3562.F671

W.G. Madsen, From shadowy types etc. PR3588.F685.

Dean Patrides, Lycidas: the tradition and the poem PR3558.M54.1983.

C. Ricks, Milton's Grand Style PR3562 F631.

W. Riggs, The Christian Poet in Paradise Lost PR3562.R56.

SEVENTEENTH CENTURY LYRIC

Stanley Fish, Self-Consuming Artifacts, Berkeley 1972 PN741.F5

S. Fish, The Living Temple, Berkeley 1978 PR3508.F57M

William Flesch, Generosity and the Limits of Authority, Ithaca, 1992. PR428 G45 F58 1992

Barbara Lewalski, Protestant Poetics and the 17th century Religious Lyric, Princeton, 1979 PR545.R4.L48

Louis Martz, The Poetry of Meditation, New Haven, 1954, PR549.R4 F541.

(ed.) John R. Roberts, New Perspectives on the Seventeenth-Century Lyric, Columbia 1994 PR545.R4.N48.1994

Stanley Stewart, "Renaissance" Talk, Pittsburg, 1997 PR421.S67

Harold Toliver, George Herbert's Christian Narrative, University Park, 1993. PR3508.T65

Rosemond Tuve, Allegorical Imagery, Princeton 1966 PN731.F66

Tuve, A Reading of George Herbert, Chicago, 1952 PR3508.F52.

Helen Vendler, The Poetry of George Herbert, Cambridge, 1975. PR3508.V4

 

the pleasure of a literature is having it all inside you.

It is the one thing that one can have all inside one.

Disclaimer