Students who elect this course in the "long eighteenth century” will study English poetry, drama, and intellectual history from the Restoration to about 1740, with some glances back at the Revolutionary period and ahead to Dr. Johnson. We will concentrate on some canonical writers (Dryden, Swift, Pope), the cavalier lyrical tradition and its excesses (Marvell, Cowley, Waller, Rochester), emerging women writers (Philips, Finch, Behn), drama (Wycherley, Congreve) as well as the notion of “enlightenment” (Locke, Hobbes, Astell). Analytical, argumentative, and research writing in the discipline will also be a frequent topic.
This is a great age for philosophy, history, theater, the rise of women writers, the development of the novel, painting (Peter Lely), sculpture, architecture (Christopher Wren), and, of course, music. Two great English composers of the late seventeenth century are John Blow and Henry Purcell. Use these links to give them a listen if you can, and enjoy. You probably already know about Haydn and Mozart, but their name links will lead you to music samples, as well.
Since our classroom is built to hold us in normal times, and it does not easily allow for the 6-ft. social distancing, we have to have a seating chart to ensure your safety. I apologize for this.
As an instructor, and by law, I am not allowed to discuss the medical history, records, or condition of any student.
We are all supposed to be masked when on campus. If you refuse to comply, I am supposed to report you.
Course policies about attendance and late papers will be standard, as described below. The exception would be that our school decides to send us off-campus and to put us online, or that we all get sick, or that you are ill and need to stay home.
Let's hope none of that happens, but if it does, we'll deal with it.
English 42204 / 53501: English Literature 1660-1789
Fall 2020 TR 4.30-5.45 LA 116
Office: LA 233 Hours: please contact me
email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 481.6841 (message)
The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, vol 3: The Restoration and Eighteenth Century
Unless I have provided a link for a text online, all selections below will be found in our fine course book, with first page numbers in parentheses.
Yes, please. Feel free. I only ask that you use their magic powers for Good.
English Revolution, Stuarts and Hanoverians, Glorious Revolution, "Enlightenment," satire, epic, mock epic, cavalier lyric, ode, occasional poetry
John Dryden (69): "To the Memory of Mr. Oldham"; "MacFlecknoe"; Absalom and Achitophel ; An Essay on Dramatic Poesy
Mary Astell (355); Lady Montagu: "The Lover" (606); "The Reasons that Induced Dr. S." (605) and Swift, "The Lady's Dressing Room" (379); Anne Finch (348).
NOTE: FIRST PAPER DUE FRIDAY, 16 OCTOBER, 9 A.M. EMAIL
NO CLASS ON 15 OR 20 OCTOBER
Alexander Pope (540): The Rape of the Lock; An Essay on Criticism; An Essay on Man
NO CLASS ON 23 AND 25 NOVEMBER
Swift (373): "A Modest Proposal"; "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift"
Samuel Johnson (759): Dictionary; Lives of the Poets
FINAL EXAM DUE FRIDAY 18 DECEMBER, VIA EMAIL, 9 A.M. email@example.com
"Wit" is the most important term in the period we're studying, though as you'll see, nobody could agree about what it meant, exactly. For your essay, I'd like you to do three things.
1) Read the short pieces in this .pdf on the subject. How do the authors define it? The same way, or differently? What do they say?
2) Apply these definitions, specifically, to the section of Dryden's Abasalom and Achitophel (lines 150-229) devoted to the villain, Achitophel. Clearly, the author is utilizing "wit," but how? What specifically in this section of the poem seems to fulfill the definitions of Addison and Dryden himself?
3) How is this poetry different from or similar to the poetry that you've studied or to which you've been exposed?
If you're interested, here is a famous essay from the middle of the twentieth century on wit in the Enlightenment, Alex Aronson's "Eighteenth-Century Semantics of Wit" (1948).
Have an argument. You're proving a point. Study the Writing in the Profession page in the menu above. Avoid summary. Don't wait until the night before the essay is due to begin. If this is your usual practice and you don't feel like upping your game, prepare yourself for a rough ride.
reputable sources, if you care to use them.
due via email in a Word document on Friday 16 October by 9 a.m. Late papers = 0. Good news: you can revise this if you meet with me on ZOOM.
Read everything we've been studying so far through the lens of The Country-Wife. Find important lines and passages in the play that reverberate with memorable and significant lines and passages in the previous course material.
reputable sources, if you care to use them
due via email in a Word document on Friday 6 November by 9 a.m. Late papers = 0. Good news: you can revise this if you meet with me on ZOOM.
As we've learned in our reading and in our research for presentations, there are at least two Enlightenments. One is "official," positivist, optimistic, and impersonal. Another is "alternative": negative, cynical, critical, and strangely personal.
The standard Enlightenment might best be represented by Pope's An Essay on Man. Though Wycherley, Rochester, Astell, Swift, and Dr. Johnson might share some of Pope's literary politics, their moral visions might be more complex than that proffered in the Essay.
For your exam, explain these six quotations from the Essay and then analyze how our other writers would respond to these philosophical expressions, using specific examples from their work. The best strategy would be to attempt a one-to-one correspondence between one of the six passages and a quotation from either The Country-Wife, "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift," "A Modest Proposal," the prose of Mary Astell, or the poetry of Rochester, Behn, Finch, Montagu
You are welcome to incorporate other writers from the period not on our syllabus that you've encountered in your reading.
Here are the six:
Whatever IS, is RIGHT. (294)
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call,
May, must be right, as relative to all. (51-52)
‘Tis but a part we see, and not the whole. (60)
In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies. (123)
to reason right is to submit. (164)
Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies? (20)
no need for secondary materials
due Friday, 18 December, 9 a.m. via email
no late papers
I would rather not have to return these with commentary unless you specifically request it
note well: I always acknowledge an email submission. If I DON'T acknowledge after a reasonable period of time, it means I didn't get the paper. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up in this case, not mine.
As a PFW student, you are entitled to free software, which you'll need. If you follow this link, you can dowload your own copy of Office 365 from IT services.
Everything in your regular papers should be double-spaced. There are no extra spaces between paragraphs, and block quotations are double-spaced. Go into your copy of Word, find the Paragraph menu, and make sure that it looks like the picture to the left.
Note: paragraphs for minor presentations can be single-spaced. Doesn't matter there.
It can be on the left or the right side
ENGL 42204 or 53501
On the next line after the heading, center a title for the paper.
Begin your text on the next line after that title.
You'll compose your papers and shorter assignments in Word and email them to me, so there is nothing in hard copy. Attach your paper as a Word document to your email. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf.
You are allowed five (5) absences for any reason you choose. Students who miss more than this will fail the course, unless there is a sound medical reason. I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences, nor am I responsible for material that you miss because you are absent. Students who miss the attendance call (the first five minutes of class) will be marked absent; students who get up and leave in the middle of class will be marked absent. Please take care of your rest room issues BEFORE class. If you must leave, give us the high sign.
Your paper and take-home exams are due on the scheduled non-class dates by 9 a.m. via email. Late papers = 0. No exceptions. These will be short, 4-6 pp. for undergrads, 10-15 pp. for grads. Your paper and first exam may be revised after meeting with the instructor in the office and discussing your plans.
it should go without saying that students are also expected to do their own work; indebtedness to secondary materials (either printed or electronic) must be clearly indicated so as to avoid plagiarism:
—(piecemeal) using someone else’s words and phrases as if they were your own, not pararphrasing or summarizing properly, even with proper documentation;
—(grotesque) using someone else’s ideas as if they were your own, without proper documentation;
—(more grotesque) allowing someone else to write your paper for you.
PLEASE DO NOT BE A PLAGIARIST! THIS IS UNNECESSARY, AS WELL AS UNETHICAL
The course grade will be determined by a rough averaging together of your essay on an assigned topic, take-home midterm, and take-home final exam, and the less formal writing I will assign individually for presentational purposes. I reserve the right to take into additional factors into account; improvement, class participation, and, of course, attendance. Grades are not negotiable, personal, or subject to the influence of extracurricular academic factors.
You may email me at any time. I will usually get back to you quickly: firstname.lastname@example.org
I always acknowledge an email submission with a reply confirming receipt. If you DON'T hear from me after a reasonable period of time, it means I didn't get the paper. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up in this case, not mine.
Since our class is relatively small, we'll try and run things like a seminar for part of every class period. I'll be assigning our short presentation topics ahead of time, or you can volunteer. (They will sharpen your mind, help engage you, and certainly help your grade.) Usual topics: notable person or event of the era, passage from the night's reading. Before you come to class, you'll write up a brief version of your presentation (one paragraph), including a picture that will help us visualize. And you'll email it to me. I will then post it on my teaching blog, which will be accessible for all to see while you're talking.
© Copyright M. L. Stapleton 1998-2022. All rights reserved.
good for nothing else, be wise. --Rochester