Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Poetry of the Eighteenth Century

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This unit explores the development of didactic and moral satire as it relates both to private and public actions of individuals and groups and to the social, cultural, and political events during the period 1680-1744. The following writings are for detailed study:

- John Dryden, ‘A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire’; Mac Flecknoe; Absalom and Achitophel;
- Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock; Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot; The Dunciad (especially Book IV).

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit seeks to examine the practice of satire through close reference to the Augustan period of English literature.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Come to terms with the delicate concept of Satire as expressed through the various texts discussed in class;
- Relate well with the rigour and robustness of language as used in the eighteenth century;
- Sufficiently deal with Satire in later works of the nineteenth and twentieth century and tackle their Synoptic examinations with a more comprehensive and detailed approach.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Grasp concepts that relate to the cultural/historical/literary dimension of the period discussed in lectures and seminars.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Boyle, Frank, Swift as Nemesis: Modernity and Its Satirist (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000)
- Ehrenpreis, Irvin, Acts of Implication: Suggestion and Covert Meaning in the Works of Dryden, Swift, Pope and Austen (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1980)
- Elkin, P. K., The Augustan Defence of Satire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973)
- Erskine-Hill, Howard, The Augustan Idea in English Literature (London: Arnold, 1983)
- Fairer, David, ed., Pope: New Contexts (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990)
- Gordon, Ian, A Preface to Pope. 2nd edn (London: Longman, 1993)
- Hammond, Brean, ed., Pope (London: Longman, 1986)
- Hopkins, David. John Dryden (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986)
- Lewis, Jayne, and Maximillian E. Novak, eds, Enchanted Ground: Reimagining John Dryden (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004)
- Miner, Earl, Dryden’s Poetry (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1967)
- Phiddian, Robert, Swift’s Parody (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)
- Rogers, Pat, The Augustan Vision (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1974)


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Maria Frendo

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.