In this course we will survey the variety of poetry produced by British poets during the Victorian period. While I will give occasional brief lectures, principally to provide historical and intellectual contextual material, most of our class time will be take up with discussion of the poetry assigned.
All students are required to submit 3 papers over the course of the semester: 2 explications of individual poems (3-5 pages) and 1 longer critical research paper (10-12 pages). The former will each comprise 20% of your final grade and the latter 40%. You have the option of rewriting one of the two critical papers after consultation with your instructor. Should you choose this option, you should submit the rewrite no later than the final day of class. Please make sure it is attached to the original paper. If you avail yourself of this option, the rewrite and the original will be given separate grades worth 10% each of your final grade. The due dates of these papers are marked in the syllabus below by asterisks. Topics for the critical research paper will be distributed in class in late October. You should submit a written thesis statement before Thanksgiving after consultation with the instructor.
Since class discussion is a crucial component of this course, you are also required to attend all classes and contribute regularly to class discussion. You will be assigned a letter grade for your attendance and contributions to class discussion at the end of the semester; this grade will count for 20% of your final grade.
Houghton and Stange, Victorian Poetry and Poetics
Leighton and Reynolds, Victorian Women Poets
These books are now available at the ASU Bookstore.
M, 8/26: Introduction to the course
W, 8/28: Tennyson: "The Kraken," "Mariana," "The Lady of Shalott," "The Lotos- Eaters," "Ulysses," "Locksley Hall," "Ode on
the Death of the Duke of Wellington,"(H&S 10, 15, 24, 31, 33, 85)
F, 8/30: Cont.
M, 9/2: No class -- Labor Day
W, 9/4: The Evolutionary Hypothesis: Tennyson, "In Memoriam" (H&S 45) Carlyle, "The Hero As Man of Letters" (H&S 866); Bentham, from "The Rationale of Reward" (H&S 843)
F, 9/6: Cont.
M, 9/7: Robert Browning's Dramatic Monologues and the Sensational:
"Porphyria's Lover," "My Last Duchess," "Pictor Ignotus," "The Bishop Orders
His Tomb . . . , " "Love Among the Ruins," "Fra Lippo Lippi," "Childe Roland
to the Dark Tower Came," "A Grammarian's Funeral" (H&S 170, 193,
199, 204, 207, 209, 220, 265)
W, 9/9: Cont.
F, 9/11: Cont.
M, 9/16: Narrative Poetry and the Woman Question: Elizabeth Barrett
Browning: Excerpts from Aurora Leigh, "To George Sand: A Desire,"
"To George Sand: A Recognition," Sonnets from the Portuguese (L&R 92,
74, 75, 90)
W, 9/18: Cont.
F, 9/20*: Cont.
M, 9/23: Inventing the Unconscious: Matthew Arnold: "The Forsaken
Merman," "The Buried Life," "The Scholar-Gipsy," "Stanzas from the Grand
Chartreuse," "Thyrsis," "Dover Beach," "The Function of Criticism at the
Present Time" (H&S 420, 446, 459, 476, 479, 484, 522)
W, 9/25: cont.
F, 9/27: cont.
M, 9/30: Arnold cont.
W, 10/2: Evangelical Reform and the Formation of the Victorian Middle Class
The Brontes: Read all the selections from Charlotte and Emily Bronte (L&R)
F, 10/4: NO CLASS
M, 10/7: Brontes cont.
W, 10/9: "For there is no friend like a sister": Christina Rossetti (L&R all)
F, 10/11: cont.
M, 10/14: cont.
W, 10/16: Pre-Raphaelites and Aesthetes: DG Rossetti (H&S all)
Buchanan, "The Fleshly School of Poetry" (H&S 888)
F, 10/18: cont.
M , 10/21: Subversive Aestheticism: Swinburne (H&S all)
W, 10/23: cont.
F, 10/25: Pater: "Conclusion" to The Renaissance, "Aesthetic Poetry" (H&S 737, 747); Symons, "The Decadent Movement in Literature"
M, 10/28: Pater and Symons cont.
W, 10/30: Ernest Dowson (H&S all)
F, 11/1*: Public Poetry and Empire: Kipling (H&S all) and Hemans (L&R all)
M, 11/4: Kipling and Hemans cont.
W, 11/6: Hardy (H&S all)
F, 11/8: cont.
M, 11/11: No class -- Veterans Day
W, 11/13: Hardy cont.
F, 11/15: Hopkins (H&S all)
M, 11/18: Hopkins cont.
W, 11/20: cont.
F, 11/22: The Lesbian Tradition: Michael Field (L&R all)
M, 11/25: Field cont.
W, 11/27: Field cont.
F, 11/29: No class -- Thanksgiving holiday
12/2: Robinson and Coleridge (L&R all)
* Due dates of the explications (3-5 pages).
** Due date for the final critical research paper.
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