The Idea of the Classic in
Eighteenth-Century England

English 560, Spring 2005

Jack Lynch

Course Description

Go directly to:


Office: (973) 353-5279 x 516; 516 Hill Hall.

Hours: Monday, 3:30-4:30, and by appointment (appointments are best).

Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 10:00 p.m.!).

E-mail: jlynch @ (the best way to reach me).

Listserv: classic @ (for the whole class).

Course Requirements

Schedule of Class Meetings

24 Jan.:
Introduction (class business, &c.).

31 Jan.:
Aristotle, Poetics; Horace, The Art of Poetry.

7 Feb.:
John Milton, Paradise Lost, front matter and books I-III; Richard Bentley's edition of Paradise Lost, Preface and Book I; Samuel Johnson, selections from The Life of Milton.

14 Feb.:
Milton, Paradise Lost, books IV and IX; John Dryden, selections from The State of Innocence; Joseph Addison, selections from The Spectator; William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, plates 4, 5, and 6; Percy Bysshe Shelley, selections from A Defence of Poetry.

21 Feb.:
Dryden, The Æneis of Virgil, books I and IV; Alexander Pope, The Iliad of Homer, book I.

28 Feb. :
Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books; Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism.

7 March:
Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock.

14 March:
NO CLASS: Spring Break.

21 March:
John Dryden, selections from An Essay of Dramatick Poesie; John Dryden and William Davenant, The Tempest; or, The Enchanted Island (also in PDF format). FIRST PAPER DUE.

28 March:
Alexander Pope, Preface to The Works of Shakespear; Nahum Tate, King Lear (also in PDF format); Samuel Johnson, notes on King Lear.

4 April:
Samuel Johnson, "Drury-Lane Prologue" and selections from the Preface to Shakespeare; Elizabeth Montagu, Introduction to An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear.

11 April:
Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews, books I and II.

18 April:
Fielding, Joseph Andrews, books III and IV.

25 April:
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound.

2 May:
John Keats, "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," "On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again," "To Homer," "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles for the First Time," "Ode on a Grecian Urn." SECOND PAPER DUE.