Thursday, August 26, 2004

English 100 Syllabus and Key Terms

Tentative Syllabus (subject to change)

Tuesday: 8/24 Course Introduction
Thursday 8/26: Read Understanding Poetry (UP), Intro and Chapter 1: Dramatic Situation
Some select supplemental poems (pp. 51-67: “The Code”; “The Cameo”; “Ulysses”; “Hell-Gate”

Tuesday 8/31: UP Chapter 2: Description (68-111)
Post to blog: a link to a site on a poet, with a short summary
Thursday 9/2: UP Continue Chapter 2
2 page paper due: close reading of a "supplemental" poem

Tuesday 9/7: UP Chapter 3: Tone (112-164)
Post background on a poet to the blog (more info. on this soon)
Thursday 9/9: UP Chapter 4: Analogical Language: Metaphor and Symbol (196-254)

Tuesday 9/14: UP Chapter 5: Theme, Meaning, and Dramatic Structure (266-321)
2 page paper – close reading
Thursday 9/16: UP Chapter 6, Appendix A

Tuesday 9/21: UP Appendix B: Metrics (advanced!)
Scan a poem
Thursday 9/23: UP Appendix B continued

Tuesday 9/28: 5 page paper due -- comparison of 2 major poems
Thursday 9/30: John Updike’s introduction to Short Stories; Read Rosenblatt and Sherwood Anderson

Tuesday 10/5: Short stories: Jean Toomer, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Porter
Post to blog: background on an author
Thursday 10/7: No class (pacing break)

Tuesday 10/12: Short stories: William Faulkner, Parker, Fitzgerald, Richard Wright
Post to blog: background on an author
Thursday 10/14: Short stories: Eudora Welty, Vladimir Nabokov, E.B. White, Elizabeth Bishop

Tuesday 10/19: John Cheever, Flannery O’Connor, Isaac Balshevis Singer, Saul Bellow
Post to blog: background on an author
Thursday 10/21: John Updike, Cynthia Ozick, O’Brien, Susan Sontag

Tuesday 10/2: Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, Ferrell, Gish Jen
Post to blog: background on an author
Thursday 10/28 5 page paper due, Read Gwynn, introduction to Drama

Tuesday 11/2: Read Shakespeare, Othello
Thursday 11/4: Continue Othello
(Outside class: screen a recent film adaptation of the play)

Tuesday 11/9: Read Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House
Thursday 11/11: Continue Ibsen

Tuesday 11/16: Read play: Williams, The Glass Menagerie
4 page paper due on either Shakespeare or Ibsen
Thursday 11/18: Continue Williams

Tuesday 11/23: Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
Thursday 11/25: No class: Thanksgiving

Tuesday: 11/30: Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
Thursday 12/2: Last day of classes

Final papers due: 12/9 (8-10 pages)

Key words

These are all terms that will be covered over the course of the semester.

Literary Form:

-Poetry – Rhythmic use of language; implies oral recital, but complete on the page
-Drama – Intended for performance on the stage; not complete on the page
-Prose – Complete on the page, belongs to one of the following forms:
Short story
Non-fiction essay
Other journalistic prose forms (not always literary)

Literary Genre

Epic – Narrative poem with a clear hero and a quest
"Mock epic"
Pastoral – Ancient poetic mode involving wandering, shepherding, nature, etc.
Ballad – Narrative poems originally meant to be sung
Lyric – Short poem (usually 40 lines or less) expressing the thoughts and subjectivity of
one person (often a celebration of the beauty of something or someone)
Elegy – Poem mourning the death of someone
Sonnet – Poem with 14 lines, one of various rhyme schemes, and various meters
Religious forms (hymn, Psalm...)
Other poetic forms (Sestina, Villanelle, Haiku)

Gothic – Story with a supernatural element (i.e., haunted house), popular in the early
Sensation fiction – Mode of intensely sensory fiction popular in the mid-1800s
Mystery -- 19th century; Arthur Conan Doyle's “Sherlock Holmes” stories
Thriller -- contemporary, but with sources in the late 1800s)

Short story
History play (Shakespeare)
Melodrama (mostly extinct; think soap opera)
Musical, Opera

Reading – tools, terms, and schools of criticism
Close reading
Text – Work of literature
Explication – Explaining, unpacking a text in a step-by-step way
Analysis – Breaking a text down into its basic elements
Interpretation – general term for understanding of what a text means
New Criticism (school of criticism) – Everything you need to know is in the text
Authorial intention – What an author says he/she meant to say (not always authoritative)
Reader response (school of criticism) – What a text does to a reader
Aesthetic value – How good is it? Is it Art? Is it middlebrow? Is it kitsch?
Historicism (school criticism) – The meaning is determined by the historical context.
Primary text – Original text
Secondary criticism – Writing or analysis of a primary text


Medieval (anything post 500 AD, pre-1500 AD)
Elizabethan/Jacobean: about 1500 to 1630
Seventeenth-century: 1620s to 1720s
Restoration: After 1665
18th Century novel (Defoe, Richardson, Fielding)
Romanticism: 1780-1820
Victorians: 1837-1901
Moderns: 1910-1945
Post-modern/contemporary: 1945-present
Colonial, Postcolonial: From outside Europe/America
Ethnic Minority literatures

Drama terms (see Gwynn's “Introduction”):

Stage directions – indicate movement and gestures made by actors)
Stage business – indicate action without dialogue)
Chorus – Original voice of people together (vs. Gods)
Dithyrambic poetry/theater – worshiping God
Proscenium – raised stage behind main stage
Aristotle, Aristotelian concepts of drama
Mimesis – imitation of life
Unified plot – play happens in real time, or over a single day
Episodic plot – play happens over an extended period (months, years)
Reversal/Peripeteia – discovery that something is wrong (at the beginning)
Discovery/Anagnorisis: Discovery of truth (at the end)
Deus ex machina (Latin: "God from the Machine") – arbitrary resolution of a crisis
Agon: Protagonist, Antagonist
Tragic flaw/hamartia
Characternym (Willy Loman --> "Low man")
Allegorical characters – “Charity” “Temptation” as characters
Soliloquy – Speech by single character on stage alone
Aside – Actor's comment directly to audience
Morality play (middle ages religious drama/sermon)
Problem play (modern social issue play)
Drama of ideas (George Bernard Shaw)
Raisonneur (French) – Character who is primarily a mouthpiece for the
playwright's opinions
Levels of diction
Spectacle or Mise en scene – the visual dimension of the play, the set
and lighting
Blank verse – Poetic line used by Shakespeare
Scrim – semi-transparent screen on which images may be projected

Poetry – technical terms (See Appendix B of Understanding Poetry)

Accentual syllabic verse
Iamb (short-long)
Anapest (short-short-long)
Trochee (long-short)
Dactyl (long-short-short)
Spondee (long-long)

Hexameter (Alexandrine)

Scanning a poem’s meter (scansion)
End-line, internal pause
Rhyme Scheme
Alliteration: Repetition of individual consonants (foul, fair…)
Assonance (or interior rhyme): strings of rhyming vowels in a single line
Consonance: Similarity between patterns of consonants (lean, alone…)

Italian Sonnet
Shakespearean Sonnet


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