In the British Literature course, sophomores study a comprehensive overview of British Literature through various time periods and writing styles, with an emphasis on verse and the general motifs of class, heroism, and love. Throughout the course, students examine the literature with the purpose of developing an answer to the course essential questions: How can the written word change society? What is the British literary tradition? and How do these works challenge the traditions?

The Time Machine (required summer reading): an introduction to British Literature and the motif of class

Semester 1: The British Tradition

1. Class: The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

What does this literature show us about class? (What is class? Who does it help? Who does it hinder?)
What literary elements did Chaucer employ?

2. Heroism: Beowulf & "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"

How does this society define heroism?
How do I define heroism?

3. Love: Shakespeare's Twelfth Night


What is the British literary tradition?
  • How does this society define class, heroism, and love?
  • What literary techniques do the writers employ?

Semester 2: Challenges to the Tradition

4. Sonnet Writing

5. The Fallen Hero: Macbeth

6. The Romantic Poets
7. Satire
8. The War Poets
9. Regeneration by Pat Barker
10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Best Work