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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2006

T C 603A • Composition and Reading in World Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44474 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
CRD 007B

Course Description

Finding the right words is not merely academic. The power of words is felt in all aspects of our lives, and not least in love and war. Young King Henry, who could bring an impregnable fortress to surrender by frightening its defenders with one short speech, and he could win the love of a conquered princess with another. Peacemakers find words to which enemies agree, while leaders in war know how to say words for which men will lay down their lives. Think of the power that Churchill and Hitler drew, in different ways, from words. Lovers, on the other hand, seek words to win over the people they love. The right words inspire confidence; they are reassuring or comforting, and they bring two people into one shared web of emotions. The wrong words, as we all know, can lead to tears and separation.

The first semester of this course is about the power of words. You will flex your own power in a series of six short papers on a wide range of topics. Meanwhile, we will discuss the most famous rhetoric in European literature-from Odysseus' deception of the Cyclops to recent love poetry.
Three Monday-night play-meetings will also be required. These will substitute for three Friday classes that will not be held. During these meetings, which will take place at Dr. Woodruff's house, the class will have dinner while reading and discussing the plays.

Grading Policy

Write six papers of varying length. Participation counts for 15%; the Mid-Term and Final Exam count for 15% and 20% respectively, and the best five of the six papers count for 10% each. Late papers cause penalties; a B+ paper that is late, for example, would receive a B. Absence from class too has its cost; each unexcused absence lowers a student's final grade by one-third point.


Homer, The Odyssey, tr. Lombardo Thucydides, On Justice, Power and Human Nature, tr.Woodruff (Hackett, 1993) Euripides, Bacchae, tr. Woodruff (Hackett, 1998) Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (Folger, WSP, 1995) Shakespeare, Henry V (Folger, WSP, 1995) Anouilh, Jean. Antigone in Five Plays Nguyen Du, The Tale of Kieu, tr. Huynh Sanh Thong (Yale) Diana Hacker, A Pocket Manual of Style (St. Martin's Press, 1993) John Trimble, Writing with style (Prentice Hall, 1975) Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales


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