"It is impossible to read the compositions of the most celebrated writers of the present day", wrote the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1821, "without being startled with the electric life which burns within their words. They measure the circumference and sound the depths of human nature with a comprehensive and all-penetrating spirit, and they are themselves perhaps the most sincerely astonished at its manifestations; for it is less their spirit than the spirit of the age." This course considers a selection of major writers of the British Romantic period in the context of the profound social, intellectual, artistic, scientific, and political changes experienced globally in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which found their fitting symbol and sometimes catalyst in the French Revolution.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Identify the formal and stylistic continuities and discontinuities between early modern and Romantic literature.
- Understand the social and political changes – including changes in science and technology, and in global diplomacy and trade – that shaped literary expression and affected publication.
- Integrate close, detailed analysis of select Romantic works of literature with research into how that literature negotiates and interacts with its larger social and political context.
- Understand the historicity and origin of many of their own ideas and values.
Indicative AssessmentClose analysis of a selected poem (1000 words) (20%) (LO 1, 3)
Write up of oral presentation on a selected author or institution (1000 words) (20%) (LO 2, 3, 4)
Extended essay on a formal, conceptual, or historical topic (3000 words) (50%) (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)
Class participation (10%) (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student reading, research, and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsThe Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Volume 4, The Age of Romanticism
Anne Radcliffe, Romance of the Forest (World's Classics)
Walter Scott, Waverley (World's Classics)
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Norton)
Preliminary ReadingNicholas Roe (ed.), Romanticism: An Oxford Guide (OUP, 2005)
William Wordsworth, selections from Lyrical Ballads and The Prelude
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Kubla Khan", "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "The Lime-Tree Bower My Prison", "Frost at Midnight"
Anna Laetitia Barbauld, "Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, A Poem"
Lord Byron, selections from Childe Harold and Don Juan
Percy Bysshe Shelley, "To Wordsworth", "Ode to the West Wind", "The Mask of Anarchy", "England in 1819"
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