The Idea of the Classic in
Eighteenth-Century England

English 560, Spring 2008

Jack Lynch

Course Description

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

Hours: Monday, 1:00–2:30, 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: ClassicIdea @ (for the whole class).

Course Requirements

Schedule of Class Meetings

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

4 Feb.:
Aristotle, Poetics; Horace, The Art of Poetry.

11 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.

18 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.

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

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

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

17 March:
No Class: Spring Break.

24 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.

31 March:
Alexander Pope, Preface to The Works of Shakespear; Nahum Tate, King Lear (also in PDF format); Samuel Johnson, "Drury-Lane Prologue," selections from the Preface to Shakespeare, and notes on King Lear; Elizabeth Montagu, Introduction to An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear.

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

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

21 April:
William Henry Ireland, Vortigern and An Authentic Account of the Shaksperian Manuscripts.

28 April:
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound.

5 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.