Department of English Language and Literature

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Faculty of Letters

Department of English Language and Literature

Undergraduate program

2011-2012 Academic Year, Fall Semester

Course Syllabus:

Semester: Fall Semester, 2011

Lecture Time : Tuesday 3:30-5:05 Thursday 8:50-10:25

Course Title: 17th Century Prose and Poetry

Course Code: IDE 209

Course Level : First semester, second year

Credits/ECTS Credit: 4 / 5

Academic Staff Information:


Office Number and Location

Office Hours

E-mail Address

Christopher Cary

MZ - 14

Monday &Wednesday


Course Description: 17th Century Prose and Poetry

Although the general designation for this course is 17th Century Prose and Poetry, our investigation might more appropriately be titled Prose and Poetry of the Restoration and the 18th Century: 1660-1785. During this intriguing period, Britain was undergoing a dramatic process of modernization. England was becoming increasingly urbanized, and during the eighteenth century, London would become the largest city in Europe – and one of the largest cities in the world. A burgeoning consumer culture was flocking to this growing metropolis, whose hinterland was described centuries earlier by the Roman poet Virgil as a “wild and remote place set apart from all the world.” An invigorated Britain enjoyed a period of relative stability and a measure of cohesion, especially when contrasted with the prolonged civil and religious strife of the earlier seventeenth century. The political arena witnessed the development of political parties and the inauguration the first British Prime Minister. Indeed, the entity of Great Britain itself was created during this period.

Alongside these developments, British literature acquired several of its most enduring fictional characters, including Lemuel Gulliver and Robinson Crusoe. Authors such as Aphra Behn, Jonathan Swift, Daniel DeFoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, and Laurence Sterne participated in one of the most important literary developments of the period: the rise of the novel in English. At the same time, literary criticism began to take its modern, institutional form in the writings of John Dryden and Alexander Pope, among many others. The genre of poetry continued its remarkable momentum in the works of Dryden and Pope, and in the superb poems of Samuel Johnson and members of his literary circle. When read in context, it can be understood that these literary works – especially the early novels and literary criticism – were addressing, responding to, and even shaping the historic events of the day. In this course, students will read and analyze several of the most important and influential writings of the Restoration and the 18th Century in a vibrant socio-political, cultural, and historical context.

Course Objectives:

After successfully completing this course, the students shall be able to execute the following tasks:

  • Define and apply relevant literary terms and interpretive methodologies

  • Understand and articulate the literary characteristics of the Restoration and the 18th Century

  • Describe and discuss the most important literary figures of the this intriguing period and their most important contributions

  • Read, understand, and interpret representative literary texts in a socio-political, cultural and historical context

  • Compare and contrast the most important genres of literature and specific works written during the Restoration and the 18th Century

Required Course Materials:

Greenblatt, Stephen and M.H. Abrams, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol I, 8th Edition (The Major Authors). New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2006. ISBN 0-393-92830-6.

Recommended Resources: (available in the university library or in an ebook format)

Abrams, M. H., ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. I-II. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1979.

Bloom, Harold, ed. Elizabethan Drama. New York: Chelsea House, 2004.

Daiches, David. A Critical History of English Literature, vols. 1-2. London: Mandarin, 1994.

Ford, Boris, ed. The Pelican Guide to English Literature, vols. 1-7. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966.

Kermode, Frank and John Hollander, eds. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, Vols I-II. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973.

Legouis, Emile. A History of English Literature: The Middle Ages and The Renaissance, trans. by Helen Douglas Irvine. London: J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd, 1971.

McGregor, Lynn, Maggie Tate, and Ken Robinson. Learning Through Drama. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1977.

Poplawski, Paul, ed. English Literature in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short History of English Literature, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Recommended websites:

Luminarium – Anthology of English Literature:

Project Gutenberg:

Course Calendar


Readings and material to be covered


Course introduction; review of literary terms and analytical methods; an overview of authors and genres


Socio-political, cultural, and historical overview of the Restoration and the 18th Century (1660-1785)


Selections from Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden (1631-1700)


Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave by Aphra Behn (1640?-1689) – class presentation


A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)


Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) – class presentation


Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)


Essay on Criticism and The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope (1688-1744) – class presentation


Mid-Term Exam


Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe (c. 1659/61-1731) – class presentation


Clarissa, Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson (1689-1781) – class presentation


Clarissa, Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson (1689-1781)


Selected poetry of Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) and others to be announced


Selected poetry of Thomas Gray (1761-1771) and others to be announced

Course Requirements:

Requirements include the completion of weekly readings, participation in class discussions, contributions to a group presentation on a literary topic, and completion of midterm and final exams. Since the foundation of this course is built upon classroom discussions, students are expected to prepare in advance and discuss assigned readings during each class period. Participants are expected to attend classes regularly and arrive on time to avoid disruptions. Students should bring their textbook to all classes. The classroom language is English, and the use of any other languages will not be allowed. Assignments will not be accepted after the stated deadline.

Expected Workload:

Students should expect to spend two to three hours (on average) of study and preparation for each 50-minute class period.

Assessment Methods:

Two written exams are the major portions of the overall assessment in the course. Students are likewise expected to contribute to a group presentation on a literary topic, and participation in classroom discussions is of vital importance for success in this course.

*Grading Policy:

Written mid-term exam


Written final exam


Participation in group presentation

10% of final exam

Class participation

5% of midterm exam 5% of final exam

*The minimum passing grade at Karabük University is 60% out of 100%. A student must acquire a score of 50% or higher on the final exam in order to pass the course (regardless of his/her midterm grade). Please see relevant regulations at

Attendance Policy:

Absence from class lectures shall not exceed 30%. Students who exceed the stated limit without a medical or emergency excuse approved by the Dean of the English literature department shall not be allowed to take the final examination and shall receive a mark of zero for the course. If the excuse is approved by the Dean and the program coordinator, the student shall be considered to have withdrawn from the course.


Plagiarism is broadly defined as the act of stealing and passing off somebody’s work or ideas as one’s own without crediting the original source, and it is a serious offense in all scholarly communities. If a student quotes or summarizes an author’s written works or ideas, he/she must provide an appropriate citation in the assignment. If an act of plagiarism by a student is discovered, a disciplinary investigation will immediately follow.


Cheating is unfortunately a common problem. The Department of English Language and Literature at Karabük University has now adopted policy of zero tolerance. Any student who is discovered cheating will be investigated by a disciplinary committee and punished to the fullest extent possible under the current academic policy. No further warnings will be issued and no exceptions will be made.


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