E 379S • Victorian Poetry and Poetics, 1830-1900 (Senior Seminar)
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
This course will focus on six major poets of the Victorian period: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, Matthew Arnold, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Thomas Hardy. We will consider the unique stylistic qualities and preoccupations of each poet, as we also try to determine what makes their work characteristically "Victorian." To help us situate these poets in their cultural and intellectual context, we will read contemporary essays by John Ruskin, Charles Darwin, Walter Pater, and others, as well as works by key Romantic precursors (Wordsworth, Keats) and Modernists (Yeats, Eliot). This class will pay special attention to the evolution of several significant poetic modes including the dramatic monology, the elegy, the sonnet, and the sonnet sequence.
One 4-5 page "close-reading" of a single poem 20%
One 5-6 page comparative essay 25%
One 8-10 page essay using secondary sources 35%
Punctual attendance and class participation 20%