From gallant knights in shining armor to madwomen in attics to upper-class socialites with romantic misadventures and many more, this course delves into the distinct yet interconnected works of British literature spanning from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth century. Students will analyze and discuss recurring themes and ideas such as the intersection of class and morality that many British authors – from 16th century poets to Katherine Mansfield – explore and comment on; the intertwining influences of grief and revenge in works such as Beowulf, Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and what the characters’ actions reveal and suggest about the authors’ societies and their values; and the evolving notion of marriage from an economic proposition to a romantic endeavor through various 19th century novels such as Jane Austen’s Emma and William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. We will delve into and evaluate English Romanticism with poets such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, and Blake; the influence of the Enlightenment with the writings of John Locke on the French Revolution; and the emergence of the Gothic in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In addition to a wide array of stories, students will read through a diversity of genres, ranging from religious epic poems with The Canterbury Tales and Paradise Lost, satire in The Importance of Being Earnest and The Screwtape Letters, and existential tragicomedy in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Through class discussions, lectures, and assignments, students will engage with these texts along with historical context and secondary scholarship, learning how to synthesize their own thoughts and ideas with those in the larger academic conversation. Students will also receive expert feedback on research-supported essays featuring textual analysis, interpretation, and persuasion.
English 4/5/6 College British Lit and Comp
Notes and Requirements
College Credit: This course is pre-approved for college credit (Belhaven ENG 205, 3 credits). Upon successful completion of this course, the student may apply for a college transcript from Belhaven University for this course. These transcripted credits may be transferred to other colleges. More information is here.
Course Sequence: Students typically take two or more English 4/5/6 courses. They may generally be taken in any order, though some sequences may be better for some purposes (e.g., preparation for a particular AP course). On a transcript, the courses will be listed to differentiate them in the best interest of the student while meeting guidelines of the applicable accrediting and certifying organization(s). Please consult TPS Support with questions about course sequence or transcripts.
Flexible Scheduling: This course may be taken with live class attendance reduced or waived (recording only) if the student has a time zone or schedule conflict. Select this option when you enroll or notify TPS for approval.