Course Description:

     The second semester of this introductory course of English Literature aims to provide a survey of English literature from the late Sixteenth century to the Eighteenth century, based upon the understanding of the social, political and cultural history of England, the investigation of literary genre, and the close reading of important writers such as Shakespeare, Milton, John Donne, Ben Jonson, John Dryden, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, etc.  Genres and the critical sensibility unique to each of the eras: the Jacobean era, the Caroline era, the revolutionary era, the Restoration, and the Eighteenth century, will be highlighted and investigated. Other than that, we will also organize the class discussion around a few important topics and issues: the gradual solidification of middle-class culture, the establishment of gender code of conduct, the division between public and private spaces, the rise of the novel, territorial expansion and travel narrative…etc, to name just a few. 

     The ultimate concern of this course is to forge a critical consciousness, the skills of close reading, and the ability to write and express ideas on an academic level.  


Class Policy:

The class seeks to improve your ability of class discussion. The ability and motivation to answer the preview and review questions will be rewarded with extra grade points. Group discussions will be arranged if time is permitted. There will be at least 1 pop quiz during the semester. No make-up quiz if you miss the quiz. You are encouraged to attend appointed lectures as a way to improve your class performance.

    No food, drink and cell-phone during the class. You can eat in the break. Failure to follow the in-class conduct code will lead to deduction of grades in class performance.

For each absence, you will lose a final course grade. Early departure without permission and lateness (more than 20 minutes late for one class or 10 minutes late for three classes) will be counted as half an absence. Application for leave of absence has to be conducted with a justified reason with proper prooves. Any leave of absence besides the first two will be considered absence.


Midterm 40%, Final Exam 40%, pop quizzes, attendance and class performance 20%



Northon Anthology of English Literature from The Middle Ages to 18th Century (9th or 10th Edition)

Course schedule:

Course Schedule:

The content and the scope of the assigned readings may subject to revision, if necessary.



Course Schedule:

The content and the scope of the assigned readings may subject to revision, if necessary.


 Assigned Reading



Introduction to Elizabethan Drama and references



Shakespearean Sonnets,

Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 1



  Shakespeare, King Lear, Acts 2, 3

Introduction to The Early Seventeenth Century




Introduction to The Early Seventeenth Century


John Donne “The Flea” “The Good-Morrow,”

“Song,” “The Cannonization,” “Love’s Alchemy,” “A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning”



Ben Jonson, “Epigrams: To My Book”

To Penshurst; Song: To Celia

Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress,” “The Garden,”



John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1,



 Spring Break



John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 2-3



  Midterm Exam



Introduction to the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century (1660-1785);



Introduction to the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century (1660-1785);

John Dryden, “Mac Flecknoe”



Aphra Behn, Oroonoko



Aphra Behn, Oroonoko;



Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels



Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels



Quiz, Liu Wen Talk



Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock



Final Exam








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