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.
Office: LA 105 Hours: please contact me
email: email@example.com phone: 481.6841 (message)
Lipking and Noddle, eds: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. c: The Restoration and Eighteenth Century
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
explanation of course policies, presentations
Restoration, Charles II, Annus Mirabilis
John Dryden: "To the Memory of Mr. Oldham" (2208); "MacFlecknoe" (2236); Absalom and Achitophel (2212); An Essay on Dramatic Poesy (2251); wit and satire (2257)
Plague (1665): Dawson
Great Fire (1666): Kristen
Oliver Cromwell: Katelyn
Long Parliament (1641): Steph
Popish Plot (1678): Greg
James II: Elise
And yet more Dryden
John Locke: Emily Jones
Dryden on wit and satire in the textbook: Jane
Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon
Debating Women (2766-85)
ANALYTICAL PAPER DUE FRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY 9 A.M.
English historical event
And yes, even more debate than that
Enlightenment concept or philosopher
Mary Astell, Reflections (2421), "Answer" (3018); Defoe (2425), Collier, Barber, and Jones (2445-49)
English writer of the era not on syllabus
More of this material from the previous class period
English historical event of the era
Important woman of the era we need to hear about
Congreve, The Way of the World
Significant work of art or architecture of the era
Congreve, The Way of the World
English historical event
Enlightenment concept or thinker
more, more Congreve
English writer of the era not on the syllabus
FIRST EXAM DUE FRIDAY 29 MARCH 9 A.M.
Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock; An Essay on Criticism; An Essay on Man
Important woman of the era we need to know about
MIDTERM EXAM DUE FRIDAY, 9 A.M.
Continental event of the era
Significant work of art or architecture
"A Modest Proposal" (2633)
Swift, "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift" (2468)
Dr. Johnson, "[On Fiction]" (2923)
Preface to Dictionary (2929)
Preface to Shakespeare (2936)
More Dr. J.
SECOND EXAM DUE FRIDAY 3 MAY 9 A.M.
Choose a section of Absalom and Achitophel devoted to one of the characters or an extended social or political observation. 1. Explain how Dryden creates the "portrait": salient detail, wit, humor, the effectiveness of the couplet form, and whatever else. Prosody would help. 2. Do some research on the Enlightenment: which philosophical concept or aesthetic ideal does your passage seem to reflect?
As assistance: here is a pretty good introduction, Anthony Pagden's The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters (Oxford, 2013). This preview from Google provides the introduction and the first chapter. It should help.
Here is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on “The Enlightenment”
And, given the "portrait" element of the assignment, you might want to look into neoclassical art and aesthetics.
Here is an essay on Absalom and Achitophel:
Have an argument. You're proving a point. Study the Writing 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.
due via email in a Word document on Friday 15 February by 9 a.m. Late papers = 0. Good news: you can revise this if you meet with me in my office beforehand.
Read everything we've been studying so far through the lens of The Way of the World. Find important lines and passages in the play that reverberate with memorable and significant lines and passages in the previous course material.
due via email in a Word document on Friday 29 March by 9 a.m. Late papers = 0. Good news: you can revise this if you meet with me in my office beforehand.
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 Congreve, 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 Pope, Swift, and Johnson 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 Way of the World, "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift," or "The Vanity of Human Wishes."
You are welcome to incorporate other writers from our semester or those from the period 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? (205-06)
no need for secondary materials
due Friday 3 May, 9 a.m. via email
no late papers
I would rather not have to return these with commentary unless you specifically request it
You are allowed five (5) absences for any reason you choose. Students who miss more than this will fail the course, without exception, regardless of circumstances. 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.
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.