Fostering academic excellence and biblical virtue to equip students for lives as local and global Christian servants.

English 4/5/6 Western Lit and Comp (Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Defoe and others)

Course Catalog ID:
Subject Categories:
English Language Arts, Literature and Media, Writing and Composition

Every day as we focus on our primary tasks we also ponder questions like: What is our purpose? How and why do we exist? Is there a God? What is he like? What is our relationship with him? These are questions man has thought and written about for as far back as we have written records. This integrated literature and writing course inspires and guides students to study how writers have been answering these questions since ancient times. We will read “classics” from the western literary canon — many will be familiar and some will be new. We will analyze, discuss and write about these great works and the deep enduring ideas they attempted to capture. We start under the weight of war in the Aeneid and then join the sobering trek of Dante through the underworld. We see Shakespeare’s monologues bring Hamlet, Macbeth and others to life and we follow Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver on his satirical journey. We contemplate the intersection of nature and faith on an isolated island with Robinson Crusoe. We consider myth with C.S. Lewis and the encounter terror with Poe. In addition to required course texts, students will choose readings from a variety of plays to bring their own ideas and interpretations to a unit on drama and dramatic characters. Throughout these journeys and encounters we also learn to write insightful analytical essays using fresh approaches to structure and rhetorical development. Students will leave the course well-read in the classics of Western Literature, and well-prepared for writing analytical essays in later high school and college.

Notes and Requirements
Grade Levels*:
10, 11, 12
(* Determined by Date of Birth and declared Grad Year. Enrollment outside these grade levels requires written concurrence from TPS Support.)

Course Sequence: Students typically take two or more English 4/5/6 courses. They may be taken in any order. Regardless of the order, each student’s first English 4/5/6 course will be listed as English 4 and the subsequent ones as English 5 and then English 6 on a signed grade report or accredited transcript.

Reviews from Students and Parents

“TPS Western Literature was a unique blend of literature and composition. It strengthens both skills and prepares the student for advanced work.”

Everett C

“TPS Western Literature has been one of the most influential classes I’ve ever taken. The teacher has fostered in me a newfound love for writing and appreciation for meaningful prose. In observing the different styles of literature, from the adventurous works of Homer and Mark Twain to the deeper, meaningful compositions of Shakespeare and Wolf, I understand more fully the effects literature has had in the course of Western Civilization – first how it is influenced by the current ideas of the time it was written, and second how it will influence the next generation of thought and communication. If you want to develop a sense of appreciation for fine literature, writing and the “grand conversation,” take this class!”

Christian C