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Nov. 28, 2005

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Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 301J
Phone: 813-974-9496
Office hours: F 05
T/R 12:15-1:00p;
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ENL 3230
British Literature 1616-1780

Fall 2005
Time: Tuesday and Thursday
11:00am - 12:15 pm
Room: CPR 345

  • Assignments
  • Related Sites
  • Paper Guidelines

    1. Course Description

      This class covers the literature between the death of Shakespeare through the American Revolution, curious dates for a literary survey. Notable historical events of the era include the English Civil Wars (1642-1646; 1648), the beheading of King Charles I (1649), the republic (1649-1653); the Protectorate (Cromwell) (1653-1659); the Restoration 1660; the Glorious Revolution and the settlement of the crown (1688+); Act of union with Scotland (1707); Jacobite Rebellion (1745); Seven Years War (1756-1763); American Revolution (1775-1783).

      It was a period of incredible political change with corresponding adjustments in social, familial and especially religious practices. Because changes in these arenas challenged fundamental beliefs about the world and about the self, the literature is, of course, very much interested in them. We will be reading representative poetry and prose from various factions of society, from the Royalists and republicans, as well as Anglicans and puritans. We will read the poetry of Donne, Jonson, Marvell, Phillips, Waller, Lovelace and Milton. We will explore the dynamics of the restored monarchy through perspectives of Dissenters and Anglicans and even the much beleaguered Catholics. Milton's Paradise Lost will be the featured work in this era, but we will also read the humbler, innovative narrative Oroonoko by Aphra Behn. Throughout the eighteenth century the political voices are channelled through Whig and Tory identities, but they also incorporate the landed wealth of aristocrats versus the rising monetary power of the classes in trade. We will read Swift and Pope along with Defoe and Addison. These emerging economic conflicts tend to overshadow a troubling engine of economic growth during the period: slavery and the slave trade. Human liberty and rights become prominent themes in the mid to late eighteenth century, and this discourse begins to address the plight of the laborer and the educational needs of women as well. We will be reading numerous works by female poets and also exploring the representations of peasants and laboring people.

      The class will be divided into two parts: the seventeenth century and the eighteenth century. There will be a midterm in between. There will be two paper assignments as well as WEEKLY informal writing assignments to be posted to the class discussion board on BLACKBOARD. There will also be a cumulative final exam. The class format is largely discussion oriented and driven by the informal writings which students post. Each class will have a set of discussion notes and questions available the week before class to guide your reading and prompt your writings. There will also be one mandatory office visit, to allow the instructor to get to know the students on a one-to-one basis.


      This course is designed to meet the following objectives:

      for students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the variety of literature produced in Great Britain during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries;

      for students to demonstrate an understanding of the history of British literature and the historical contexts of the works of these periods;

      for students to form and express critical opinions about the themes and developments in the literature through discussion in the classroom and through weekly electronic posts to the discussion board;

      for students to develop formal writing skills through the writing-intensive focus of the classroom;

    Required Materials

    (All assignments must be read in full before the date of discussion.)

    The Norton Anthology of English Literature 7th edition, Volume ONE

    Tobias Smollett's Humphry Clinker ed. James L. Thorson, Norton Critical Edition, (1983)


    Frank O'Gorman, The Long Eighteenth Century: British Political and Social History, 1688-1832 London: Arnold, 1997, reprint 2004

    Electronic Media

    For an general introduction to computing facilities and classes at USF, see USF Academic Computing Home Page.

    This class will be interacting with the Blackboard website for ENL3230.001F05, to be located on your MY USF website. To register and log in, visit .

    You will find the discussion board for your weekly informal postings on this Blackboard site, and I will also post assignments, messages and further information about the class on this site. PLEASE CHECK IT FREQUENTLY.

    My website: information on class, assignments and links to other important sites on literature, etc.

    Norton Topics Online contains important supplemental information, texts and illustrations which we will be using throughout the semester.

    Other important websites will be listed in the schedule of reading and following the assignments.


    NOTE: Individual class notes with detailed reading assignments will be updated weekly.

    Reading Suggestions: Please read the author headnote in the Norton Anthology for every author. Also read the period introductory essay for essential background information. We will also be using the Norton Online materials, and so you should be prepared to read and consult the materials there.

    Aug. 30: Introductions -- Syllabus, class policies, assignments. Choose Group A or B.

    Sep. 1: Donne, Herbert, Philips

      Donne: "The Flea," "The Canonization," "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," "The Ecstacy," Holy Sonnets 10, 14, "Hymn to God My God, in my Sickness"
      Herbert: "The Altar," "Redemption," "Easter," "Easter Wings," "The Collar," "The Pulley"
      Philips: "A Married State," "Upon the Double Murder of King Charles," "Friendship's Mystery," "To Mrs. M. A. at Parting," "On the Death of My First and Dearest Child"

      Due: Post #1 Group A

    Sep. 6: Jonson, Lovelace, Waller
      Due: Post #1 Group B

    Sep. 8: Marvell, Milton (sonnets)
      Due: Post #2 Group A

    Sep. 13: Milton, Paradise Lost
      Due: Post #2 Group B

    Sep. 15: Milton, Paradise Lost
      Due: Post #3 Group A

    Sep. 20: Milton, Paradise Lost
      Due: Post #3 Group B

    Sep. 22: Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel
      Due: Post #4 Group A
      Topic for Paper 1 - close reading

    Sep. 27: Dryden, MacFlecknoe and criticism
      Due: Post #4 Group B

    Sep. 29: Bunyan and Butler
      Due: Post #5 Group A

    Oct. 4: Slavery section -- selections and online
      Due: Post #5 Group B
      Paper 1 - close reading

    Oct. 6: Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
      Due: Post #6 Group A

    Oct. 11: Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
      Due: Post #6 Group B

    Oct. 13: Review, essay exam preparation
      Due: Post #7 Group A

    Oct. 18: MIDTERM

    Oct. 20: Swift, Gullivers' Travels Book 4

      Due: Post #7 Group B

    Oct. 25: Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock
      Due: Post #8 Group A


    Nov. 1: Pope, Rape of the Lock

      Due: Post #8 Group B

    Nov. 3: John Gay, Beggar's Opera
      Due: Post #9 Group A

    Nov. 8: Gay, Beggar's Opera
      Due: Post #9 Group B

    Nov. 10: Samuel Johnson, Rasselas
      Due: Post #10 Group A
      Paper 2 - Rewrite-Imitation-Recitation

    Nov. 15: Johnson, Rasselas
      Due: Post #10 Group B

    Nov. 17: Night poetry (Finch, Thomson, Collins)
      Due: Post #11 Group A

    Nov. 22: Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard"
      Due: Post #11 Group B


    Nov. 29: Boswell and Burney

      Due: Post #12 Group A

    Dec. 1: Smollett, Humphry Clinker
      Due: Post #12 Group B

    Dec. 6: Smollett, Humphry Clinker
      Due: Post #13 Group A

    Dec. 8: Smollett, Humphry Clinker
      Due: Post #13 Group B

    DECEMBER 13: Final Exam (10:30 AM - 12:30 PM)

    Graded Assignments

    Attendance/Participation/Office Visit 5%

    Weekly Posts (13) 20%

    Paper 1 (2-3 pp.) -- (close reading) 15%
    Due Oct. 4 (topic due Sep. 22)

    Rewrite/Imitation/Recitation 10%
    Due Nov. 10

    Midterm 25%
    Oct. 18

    Final Examination 25%
    Dec. 13

    This syllabus is subject to change.

    ** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.

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