Course description

An introduction to major works in English literature from Beowulf up to the eighteenth century, the course explores various ways that new identities are created through the cultural forces that shape poets, genres, and groups. The syllabus is organized around genres or modes rather than chronology, although we always keep historical context in mind. Major works include Beowulf, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Milton's Paradise Lost, Spenser's Faerie Queen, and Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave—to name a few. We explore the genres of romance, epic, lyric, and prose fiction, and drama.


Associated Schools

  • Harvard Division of Continuing Education

  • Harvard Extension School

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