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Module Level: II

Module Leader: Dr R. Dover

Module Credit Value:10 Credit Points

Recommended prior knowledge: Study of the Level 1 ‘Introduction to Poetry’ module

Aims The module aims might be described as follows:

Indicative Content

The philosophical, cultural and intellectual backgrounds and contexts of British Romanticism, including Romantic theories of epistemology and subjectivity, perception and imagination, the sublime, psychological theory.

Aesthetic and Literary theory and practice in the period from 1789 to 1825, including shifting attitudes in aesthetics and ‘taste’, traditions of narrative verse, Romantic epic, Ballad and Lyric form, notions of genius and the role of the poet, questions of the Image, Symbol and Allegory.

Specific texts will include:
Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Book of Thel, and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell;
Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads, Poems (1807), The Prelude
Coleridge, The Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Christabel, Dejection
Keats, Odes, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, The Eve of St Agnes, Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion
Shelley, Ode to the West Wind, Adonais, To a Skylark, Ozymandias, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Mont Blanc, Epipsychidion
Byron, Don Juan, A Vision of Judgement

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students will be able to:

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Initial weeks of the module will involve tutor-led presentations on issues of background and context. Subsequent sessions will involve student seminars and presentations on the work of the each of the poets: approximately 2-3 sessions will be allocated to the study of the poetry. The module will also make use of tutor-prepared electronic hypertext editions of the poetry and other internet resources.

Assessment Strategies

The unit will be assessed through a balance of a course assignment (30%), Course Log (30%) and examination (40%). The Log will enable students to maintain a profile of reading and material for presentation, and the assignment will involve detailed study of the work of one poet. The Examination will be a 90-minute unseen paper, with students being required to answer one general and one specific questions on the material they have studied on the module.
 Students will be assessed on their detailed knowledge of the poetry itself; and on their ability to apply, relate and evaluate appropriate critical insights and general perspectives.


Required Reading

Abrams, M.H., The Mirror and the Lamp

Abrams, M.H. (ed.), English Romantic Poets, (OUP, 1975)

Butler, M, Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries, (OUP, 1981)

Williams, R, Culture and Society, (Penguin, 1976)

Recommended Reading

Beer, J.B., Wordsworth and the Human Heart, (Macmillan, 1978)

(ed) Curran, S., Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism (CUP, 1993)

Everest, K, English Romantic Poetry: An Introduction to the Historical Context and Literary Scene, (Open University, 1990)

Fraser, G.S., John Keats: Odes (Macmillan, 1971)

Hayden, J.O., Romantic Bards and British Reviewers, (RKP, 1971)

Hough, G.G., The Romantic Poets, (Hutchinson, 1967)

J.OPrickett, S., Wordsworth and Coleridge: the Poetry of Growth (OUP, 1970)

Watts, C, A Preface to Keats, (Macmillan, 1985)

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