E 329L • Later Romantic Period, 1815-1832
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
In the poets Keats, Percy Shelley, and Byron, in the essayists Hazlitt, Lamb, and DeQuincey, and in novelists such as Mary Shelley and James Hogg, early nineteenth-century Romanticism reaches its fullest and strangest flowering. This course concentrates on themes and developments in the work of the three major poets of this period, which runs roughly from Napoleons defeat at the gates of Moscow in 1812 to the passage of the Reform Bill in 1832. In their poems and letters, we will examine Romantic concepts of self and self-consciousness, their roots in the associationist psychology of the period, and the transcendence of selfhood provided by the sublime, the supernatural, and by poetry itself. In the novels by Mary Shelley and Hogg, we will see how the authors employ a range of different, often conflicting styles of representation in order to question the received wisdom concerning God and man, nature and society although their own moral and political views remain difficult to define. Of particular interest is the critical eye with which Keats, the Shelleys, and Byron regard their Romantic precursor, Wordsworth, and the idea of poetry as spontaneous self-expression.
Three 4-5-page essays; two 2-3-page close-readings
Attendance: The University requires you to attend all classes. If you do miss a class, you are responsible for finding out what went on that day, what assignments were given, what handouts were distributed, etc.
Keats: Selected Poems and Letters, ed. Douglas Bush (Houghton)
Shelley's Poetry and Prose, ed. Donald Reiman and Sharon B. Powers (Norton)
Byron, ed. Jerome McGann (Oxford Authors)
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, ed. Harold Bloom (NAL)
James Hogg, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, ed. Wain (Penguin)
Coleridge, ed. J. R. Jackson (Oxford Authors)
Prose of the Romantic Period, ed. Carl Woodring (Houghton)
Optional: Romanticism and Consciousness, ed. Harold Bloom (Norton)