Most recent English Courses taught:


Lee A. Jacobus
Class meets Thursday 1 to 3:30
Office hours after class and appt.

Papers are to be 8-10 pages and read aloud in class. They will be critiqued in class, then you will be able to revise them and hand in a finished version in 2-3 weeks.
Texts: Oxford: Orgel & Goldberg, Complete Poems and Selected Prose. Patrides, Selected Prose. Some of the readings listed below will be changed or added to, and a number of texts will be on reserve.

August 28 We begin with a discussion of some of the minor poems: the Sonnets; "On the Death of a Fair Infant"; "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity"

September 4 "L'Allegro"; "Il Penseroso"; in C. A. Patrides: Selected Prose: Areopagitica, 196-249; Read: J. B. Leishman, Milton's Minor Poems, passim. Stella Revard, The Making of Poems 1645, passim. David Loewenstein, "'The Wars of Truth': Areopagitica and the Dynamics of History" in Milton and the Drama of History.

September 11 Comus: A Maske at Ludlow; in Patrides, Of Education, pp. 181-196 Read: Milton Quarterly 21:4 (1987); Cedric Brown, John Milton's Aristocratic Entertainments (1985).

September 18 Lycidas; in Patrides: Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, pp. 112-181 Read: C. A. Patrides, Milton's 'Lycidas,' The Tradition and the Poem Scott Elledge, Milton's Lycidas

September 28 Paradise Lost, I and II, debate in hell. Read: J. B. Broadbent, Some Graver Subject, passim--Intro & early chs. Read: C. S. Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost 

October 2 Paradise Lost, III and IV, heaven and earth; in Patrides, begin Christian Doctrine, pp. 359-399
Diane McColley, Milton's Eve: 'Rational Delight: The Marriage of Adam and Eve," 22-62

October 9 Paradise Lost, V and VI, Raphael: the War in Heaven; Revard, The War in Heaven, "Satan as Epic Hero," 198-234; "The Son of God and the Strife of Glory," 235-263. James Freeman, Milton and the Martiall Muse passim.

October 16 Paradise Lost, VII and VIII

October 23 Paradise Lost, IX, the fall; Read: Stanley Fish, Surprised by Sin, "What Cause?: Faith and Reason," 241-285; Lewalski, PL and the Rhetoric of Literary Forms, Ch 9, "The Fall and Tragic Genres," 220-253; Jacobus, Sudden Apprehension, "Logic in the Garden", 119-166

October 30 Paradise Lost, X; Read: Fish, "Man's Polluting Sin," 92-157

November 6 Paradise Lost, XI and XII, futurities. Read: Fish, "So God With Man Unites," 286-331; Jacobus, Sudden Apprehension, "The Doctrines of Christian Assurance," 107-118

November 13 Samson Agonistes Read: Mary Ann Radzinowicz, Towards Samson Agonistes David Loewenstein, "Samson Agonistes and the Drama of History" in Milton and the Drama of History.

November 20 Paradise Regained I and II Read: Christopher Hill, "Paradise Regained," 413-427 

December 4 Paradise Regained, III and IV Read: John Shawcross,Paradise Regained: Worthy t'have not remained so long unsung



Modern Irish Literature begins with the revival of myth in the late nineteenth century and continues in the exploration of roots of various kinds in the work of contemporary fiction writers and poets. The books required in the course are numerous (9) and various. Since the bookstore makes a practice of returning unsold books early, and since these books are not readily available elsewhere, I suggest that you buy them immediately so you will not be in the embarrassing position of not knowing what is going on in class.
You will find a great poetic lifework; three great playwrights; and several important works of fiction.

Class participation is a key to this course. For that reason, and others, your class attendance is important. The reading in this course is extensive and exciting. But it is also easy to fall behind. More than that, reading the material is the least of it; more important is what you have to say about it, what you make of it, and how keen and sensitive you are the face of this extraordinary literature. Since I will be expecting you to contribute insights in each class, I want to remind you now that maintaining the reading on the day it is assigned is your first priority. The reading and the class discussions will well reward your efforts. Absences in excess of 4 will be cause for me to lower your grade substantially. 

The Mid-term Examination is on October 26. The Term Paper is due December 7. The Final Examination date will be announced. You will be asked to write a final term paper on an Irish writer. I will give you a list to choose from. Due date for the term paper (7 pp. in length) is Thursday, December 7. The paper is to be an original discussion of one work by an Irish author, set in the context of Irish literature. 


Week-1/2 Sept. 2 Tain Bo Cuailgne,Tr. Thomas Kinsella

Week 2 Sept. 7 Tain Bo Cuailgne, Tr. Thomas Kinsella
Sept. 9 Tain Bo Cuailgne, Tr. Thomas Kinsella 

Week 3 Sept. 14 MARIA EDGEWORTH, Castle Rackrent
Sept. 16 MARIA EDGEWORTH, Castle Rackrent

Week 4: Sept. 21 KENNELLY: Penguin Book of Irish Verse, pp.60-118
Sept. 23 KENNELLY: Penguin Book of Irish Verse, Swift, Mangan, Ferguson, Allingham, Pearse

Week 5 Sept. 28 BRAM STOKER: Dracula 
Sept. 30 BRAM STOKER: Dracula Week 6 Oct. 5 YEATS: Selected Poems: "Crossways," "The Rose," "The Wind Among the Reeds," "In the Seven Woods," pp. 1-31

Oct. 7 YEATS: Selected Poems: pp. 31-94 Vols.: The Green Helmet & Other Poems," "Responsibilities," "The Wild Swans at Coole," Michael Robartes and the Dancer." 

Week 7 Oct. 12 YEATS: Selected Poems: pp. 94- 158" Calvary," "The Tower," "The Winding Stair and Other Poems,"
Oct. 14 YEATS: Selected Poems: pp. 158-185 "A Full Moon in March," "New Poems," "On the Boiler."
Reminder: October 26 Mid-Semester Examination 

Week 8 Oct. 19 YEATS: Selected Poems: pp.185-219 "Last Poems," "The Death of Cuchulain," "Purgatory."
Oct. 21 YEATS: Selected Poems: pp.293-355 Vols.: "New Poems and Last Poems" 

Oct. 28 SYNGE Complete Plays, The Well of the Saints, Riders to the Sea Week 10 Nov. 2 SYNGE: Complete Plays, The Playboy of the Western World
Nov. 4 SYNGE: Complete Plays, Deirdre of the Sorrows Week 11 Nov. 9 WILDE: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Nov. 11 WILDE: The Picture of Dorian Gray Week 12 Nov. 16 JOYCE: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Chap. 1
Nov. 18 JOYCE: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Chap. 2 & 3

Thanksgiving Break  

Week 13 Nov. 30 JOYCE: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Chap. 4
Dec. 2 JOYCE: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Chap 5 Reminder: your paper is due December 7

Week 14 Dec. 7 SEAN O'CASEY, Three Plays, The Shadow of a Gunman
Dec. 9 SEAN O'CASEY, Three Plays, Juno and the Paycock

Week 14-1/2 Dec. 14 SEAN O'CASEY, Three Plays, The Plough and the Stars