This is a complementary class to Mr. Grissom’s Western Civ. II class.
- To sharpen English composition skills and research methods
- To survey the Western literary tradition from Augustine up to Milton, and understand its contribution to the Great Conversation
Assignments will be posted on the class assignments page:
Reading: There is a lot of reading in this class, but I will keep us on schedule with the weekly assignments. For the most part we will read a given section and talk about it in class.
Quarter Papers: These will be quarterly projects that hone essential skills of comparison/contrast, exposition, research, and argumentation.
Weekly Writing: Students can expect to write something either formal or personal/reflective of varying lengths most weeks.
Vocabulary: Students will often be asked identify 10 unfamiliar words each week from their reading assignments and provide the definition in its given context. These must be handwritten.
Recommended editions are linked below via amazon.com, but I understand book budgets can be tight. Feel free to order used copies, use hand-me-downs, or find what you can digitally if you are so inclined. I personally love scouring the shelves at Half Price Books.
- Writers Inc. (This is only for occasional reference, so borrowing one when needed is fine)
- Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
- The Canterbury Tales, translated by Nevil Coghill
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Tolkien (other translations would do)
- Hamlet, Shakespeare (Recommended: Ignatius Critical Edition)
- The Divine Comedy, Dante, translated by Clive James
- Paradise Lost (unabridged), John Milton (Recommended: Hackett Classics Annotated Edition)
Grades will be calculated roughly as follows, depending on how the quarter’s assignments pan out:
Reading (Vocab/Quizzes/Summaries) 25%
Weekly Writing 25%
Literature Exam 15%