Online ENG 201: World Literature (Classical to Renaissance):

The Question of Heroism

Required Texts

Homer. The Iliad. trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin Classics, 1998. ISBN 0140275363

Beowulf: A Verse Translation. trans. Seamus Heaney. ed. Daniel Donoghue. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002. ISBN 0-393-97580-0

Malory, Sir Thomas. Le Morte Darthur. ed. Stephen H. A. Shepherd. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. ISBN 0-393-97464-2

Instead of the Norton Critical, which uses Middle English, buy the text below. I thought it would be a good idea to use the Middle English version since it is not used very often in undergraduate courses, but since I noticed the roster is full of non-English majors I had a change of heart. I just couldn't put you all through that :-)

Malory, Sir Thomas. Le Morte Darthur. ed. Helen Cooper. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-282420-1

Available at
Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince. 2nd. Ed. trans. Robert M. Adams. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992. ISBN 0-393-96220-2

I’ll be using these editions. For page number ease, you might want to purchase the same (especially for the Nortons--other editions don't contain all of the selections we'll be reading). Books can be purchased through the ASU Bookstore or through an online bookseller, like When available, links to online versions of assigned readings will be provided.

A brief note on the reading assignments and texts:

In creating the syllabus, I’ve taken a two-tiered approach to the works we’ll be reading. Readings are assigned in roughly chronological order, allowing us to see how these stories, cultures, philosophies, and ideas develop in history.  My goal here is to encourage you to see the story in two contexts: its historical context and a transhistorical, transcultural context, which should broaden our understanding of the work and provide fruitful discussion. As you can see, we are using a depth model rather than coverage model. The reason behind the depth model is to give you a sense completion that comes with reading an entire work, rather than bits and pieces from a large number of authors. The only work we will not be doing as a whole is Le Morte Darthur. There simply wasn't enough time to read the entire work while keeping the daily reading to a reasonable level.

I have not assigned all of the critical essays in the Norton editions.  Don’t let that stop you from reading around.  Read the essays that interest you (as well as the assigned ones), and when you find relevant connections, include them in your posts.  We’ll all benefit.