ENGL 105 Fall 2012 Poetry and Magic (W)

Ancient Celtic texts--Irish and Welsh--associate the poet with powerful magic--shape-shifting, access to the other-world, and visions of transcendent authority and truth. Plato, in his famous condemnation of poetry in The Republic, also associates poetry with magic, but with magic as con game or sleight-of-hand trick. This course will use Plato and the Celtic texts to establish a theoretical framework for reading and interpreting the representation of poetry and magic in a variety of literary works from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. The goal of the course is to develop effective reading and writing strategies for works of different genres and time periods. Reading will include Chaucer's Friar's Tale (where the poet-figure is a devil); Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (where the poet-figure sells his soul to the devil for magical power); Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest (where fairies and magic represent the positive power of the imagination); and short poems by Coleridge, Keats, Tennyson, and Yeats.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: a mix of writing assignments, formal and informal, totaling about 25 pages; students will be evaluated on writing and class participation
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level English course
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Divisional Attributes: Division I,Writing Intensive
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Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 1567
ENGL105-01(F) SEM Poetry and Magic (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsWriting Intensive Sherron E. Knopp
MR 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Schapiro Hall 241 1567
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