English 230—Spring 2012

Masterworks of British Literature through the Eighteenth Century

Infant Joy/Infant Sorrow
from William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience

Section 2--TR: 2:10-4:00 in 33-286 (Fisher Science)

Instructor: Steven Marx
47-25E (Faculty Office Building
Office hours: TR 12:10-1:30

Course Syllabus and Schedule

Wk Date Class topic and activity Due Links
I 3/27

Course introduction

Hogarth: Scholars at a lecture


Text and interlinear translation

Performance of original by Ben Bagby

Opening lines
(Scene 6 Beowulf vs. Grendel)
lines 672-702
lines 710-735

Seamus Heany reads opening lines from his free translation

Lecture notes

unless otherwise noted, numbers refer to pages in The Norton Anthology of English Literature 8th edition

Beowulf manuscript

Sutton Hoo

Viking Ship

Mead Hall


Beowulf, Lanval and Chevrefoil

Group project schedule signups

Quiz 1 on Beowulf and Lanval and Chevrefoil

Lecture notes

34-55; 59-69; 80-93; 96(line 3007)-100


Great Buckle, Sutton Hoo Treasure

Lanval movie

The sound of Lanval

II 4/3

Chaucer--General Prologue

Lecture notes

Read: 213-238 or with interlinear translation

Harvard Chaucer page

Ellesmere ms.

Caxton printed version

Ellesmere portrait Hoccleve portrait

"Prologue to Pilgrimage: The Two Voices"



Chaucer--The Miller and The Wife of Bath

Quiz 2 on Chaucer readings

Lecture notes


Read: 239-256 or with interlinear translation

256-84 or with interlinear translation(prologue) (tale)

Miller's Tale Harvard Chaucer Page

Wife of Bath Harvard Chaucer page

Baba Brinkman's "Miller Time."

Wife of Bath's Tale by Joanna Quinn

A Chaucerian moment


III 4/10

Project presentations (1)

Presentation documents

Responses to presentations

Thomas More's Utopia Book 1

Lecture notes


Read: 518-545


More and his Circle


Thomas More's Utopia Book 2

Lecture notes

Quiz 3 on Utopia

Songs and lyrics; the pastoral

Lecture notes

Link list



Read: 545-590


Read:Elizabeth  662, 687-8, 695-6
Marlowe 1022
Ralegh 917-924
Shakespeare 1058-1061, then sonnets # 1, 3, 12, 18, 20, 23, 29, 60, 62, 73, 98, 105, 110, 116, 128, 129, 138


Youth Against Age: Generational Strife in Renaissance Pastoral

Mark Antony's Valentine

Shakespeare in Love page

IV 4/17

Words and music

Lyrics, sacred and profane

Lecture notes

Link list

Listen and read lyrics

Wroth: 1451-2, 1457-1461
Donne: 1260-62, 1263 (The Flea), 1266 (The Sun Rising), 1633 (The Canonization), 1276 (The Ecstasy), 1283 (Elegy 19, On His Mistress Going to Bed) Holy Sonnets: (1) 1295, (10) 1296, (14) 1297, (19)1299
Herbert: 1605-6, The Altar 1607, Redemption 1607, Easter Wings 1609, Prayer 1 1611, Denial 1613, The Collar 1619

"Teaching in the School of Donne."

Project presentations (2)

Presentation documents

Reponses to presentations

Francis Bacon: Essays

Link list

Lecture notes


Read: 1550-1551, “Of Truth”1552,  “Of Marriage and the Single Life” 1553, “Of Superstition” 1556, “Of Studies” 1561-63

V 4/24

Francis Bacon: Novum Organum

Lecture notes

William Shakespeare: King Lear

Lecture notes

Link list

Read: Selections from Novum Organum

Read Acts 1 and 2, 1139-1180

Title page


A very brief plot summary of the play

A 20 minute tour of the play with film clips



William Shakespeare: King Lear

Quiz 4 on King Lear

Link list

Read: King Lear Acts 3-5, 1180-1227

Watch: Nunn-McKellen performance of King Lear

A 15 minute interview with Ian McKellen, who plays Lear

On King Lear and the Book of Job from Shakespeare and the Bible

VI 5/1

Project presentations (3)--Bacon and King Lear

Presentation documents

Responses to presentations

William Shakespeare: King Lear, conclusion

John Milton: Paradise Lost, Introduction

Lecture notes



Read: 1830-1831




Dore's Illustrations

Blake's Illustrations

The history of Illustration of Paradise Lost


John Milton: Paradise Lost

Lecture notes

Readings and pictures

Read: 1831-1871(Books 1 and 2), summary of Book 3, 1887-1928 (Books 4 and 5), summary of Book 6,1946-1960 (Book 7), 1965-1973 (Book 8 lines 249-654)



John Milton: Paradise Lost

Lecture notes

Quiz 5 on Paradise Lost

Read: 1973-2028 (Books 9,10,11 lines 1-292), 2053-2055 (Book 12 lines 552-650) "The Prophet Disarmed: Milton and the Quakers"

Mary Woolstonecraft on Paradise Lost

John Gay: The Beggar's Opera

Lecture notes

Viewing scripts

Read: from A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Read The Beggar's Opera (pages 2611-2656) while watching it here. You need to use the class login and password to access this streaming video. The movie will be hard to follow without the text and the text will be hard to follow without the movie.


Text with introduction and notes

Hogarth's painting of Act 3 Scene 11


VIII 5/15

Project presentations (4)--Paradise Lost and The Beggar's Opera

Responses to presentations

Alexander Pope, passages from The Essay on Man

Lecture notes

Presentation materials


Read: 2540-2548




Jonathan Swift: Gulliver's Travels Books 1 and 2

Lecture notes

Read: 2323-2405 Gulliver's Travels website with pictures, movies and more
IX 5/22

Jonathan Swift: Gulliver's Travels Books 3 and 4

Quiz 6 on Gulliver's Travels

Lecture Notes

Read: 2405-2462; include these excerpts left out of the textbook version at page 2410


Alexander Pope's verses about Gulliver's Travels:
1. Houyhnnyms in England
2. Mary Gulliver to the Captain


Project presentations (5)--Gulliver's Travels

Responses to presentations

Presentation Materials

William Blake, Songs of Innocence



Read: Songs of Innocence--text and illustrations

Final Exam question distributed


The Blake Archive
The Blake Jukebox
Additional Blake links




William Blake, Songs of Experience Read: Songs of Experience and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell--text and illustrations The Blake Archive
The Blake Jukebox

Additional Blake links


Project presentations (6)--Blake

Responses to presentations

Presentation materials

Course Review

  6/1 Friday 6PM Responses to presentations (6)  
XI 6/5 Tuesday 8AM Take-home final exam due  
  6/7 Thursday at 2:10 p.m. Project essays for presentations (6)  


  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1 8th Edition only, available for purchase from El Corral Bookstore and other sellers. ALWAYS BRING THE BOOK OF THE DAY TO CLASS.

Workload and Grading

  • Reading quizzes (6 total)--30% of grade [Bring small scantron on quiz days]
    • Each quiz consists of ten multiple choice questions. Scale: 10=extra 9=A 8=B 7=C 6=D 5=F 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 pull down average.
  • Student projects --20% of grade [see rubric]
    • At these six fifty-minute sessions, five projects will be presented, each by a four-person group, each group allotted ten minutes, an average of 2.5 minutes per person.
    • Signup sheets for groups will be distributed on the second class day. Groups need to meet and work together outside of class.
    • Presentations may be by individuals within a framework established by the group or by the group working together.
    • Projects need to combine critical insight into works read with creative personal response. They can take a wide range of format, including, but not limited to, musical presentations (vocal and/or instrumental), visual designs (posters, ad campaigns, illuminated texts, paintings, drawings, photography), dramatic performances (solo and group, live and/or on videotape), dance performances (with or without musical accompaniment), webpages, writing (poetry, fiction, drama, memoir).
    • You are encouraged to confer with the instructor after class, at office hours or by email, for further guidance on these projects.
    • Some suggestions for projects by groups
    • Sample group projects for English 253 Spring 2011 can be found on that course's website
  • Project essay--1000-1200 words, due one week after presentation--25% of grade [see rubric]
    • This essay provides a personal account, justification, and reflection on the genesis, composition, meaning and reception of your contribution to the project. Be sure to emphasize the relationship between reading class texts and your creation. Send essay to instructor as MS Word attachment. Name the document with your last name only, followed by "Project Essay." In the subject line of the email to which you attach it, type your last name only, followed by "Project Essay."
  • Responses to projects--250-300 words, due from those not presenting in class by 6 pm the day following presentations--no separate grade but half grade penalty to your project essay grade for not submitting on time.
    • Email smarx@calpoly.edu a paragraph or more about which of the student projects was most meaningful to you and why. Type into the email, not as attachment. Refer to specifics of the project, the class text it's based on and your own experience. Be clear and concise. Avoid vagueness and padding. These responses will be posted for everyone to read on the class website. In the subject line, type your last name only, followed by "Project Response." Your name should not appear in the text of the email. Samples
  • Take home exam--1500-1700 words--25% of grade.
    • The exam involves an overview of readings, lectures and responses as well as detailed references to specific texts. It requires you to write a symposium or platonic dialogue featuring six speakers conversing about one of the images or topics to be distributed nine days before the exam. 
    • The conversation can mix brief quotations--within quotation marks--with paraphrases or extrapolations of what the authors might say. The paraphrases or extrapolations may adopt the speaker's style of expression. (Please include page references in parentheses.) Questions and sample responses


  • Late papers are penalized one full grade for each class session's delay unless a postponement is granted by the instructor in advance.
  • Attendance is not optional. Three unexcused absences lower grade by one half letter; five unexcused absences result in no credit. Two unexcused latenesses count for one absence. Certified medical absences are not counted in these totals and are the only reason for makeup exams or quizzes.
  • Behavior to avoid: arriving late or leaving early; using cell phones, smart phones in class; using laptops or ipads for anything but notetaking; packing up disruptively before the class is dismissed; eating in class; sleeping in class; reading newspapers; chatting with neighbors.
  • Plagiarism or other forms of cheating result in a failing grade and referral to the dean. Students are responsible for understanding the definition of plagiarism. Please consult the instructor if the Cheating page doesn't make it clear to you.

Reading and Writing


General Education course objectives