ENGL404: English Romantic Poetry

Course Syllabus for "ENGL404: English Romantic Poetry"

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The Romantic Period in England spans the decades of the 1780’s through the 1830’s. It was the age of revolutions - a span of time that saw not only the rapid industrialization of Europe but two significant national revolutions - one in France and one in America. This revolutionary spirit in many ways fed and sustained the Romantic Movement in English literature; its chief practitioners believed that poetry could literally transform the world and the way in which we understand it. In this course, we will examine this revolutionary energy alongside a number of other English Romantic characteristics, including a fascination with nature and the natural world; a desire to boldly experiment, explore, and renew literature; and a focus on the individual’s capacity for imagination and vision. First, we will discuss the broader socio-historical and literary context in which English Romantic poetry thrived. Second, we will examine the three main concerns of English Romantic poets, which have been roughly divided among the three course units: the Romantic poet and the outer world, the Romantic poet and the inner world, and the poetry that bridges the gap between those two. Third, we will closely examine several of the period’s prominent poems, identifying what makes each a Romantic poem and how these poems relate to the three concerns listed above.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • describe Romanticism as both an historical period and as a movement in art and literature;
  • identify and explain Romanticism in terms of its relationship to the French Revolution;
  • describe the views of society and social relations that arose during this era;
  • explain the significance of industrialization, the rise of the working class, the expansion of the British Empire, the heightening of British nationalism, and the rise of the press;
  • explain Romanticism’s relationship to Neo-Classicism;
  • identify the major tenets of Romanticism, including the movement’s interests in the natural world, supernaturalism, revolution, morality, ethics, exoticism, urbanization, mindscapes, moods, imagination, and interiority; and
  • explain the nature and function of the Romantic craft of authorship.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and

√    have completed The Saylor Foundation’s ENGL203: Cultural and Literary Expression in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Course Information

Welcome to ENGL404: English Romantic Poetry. General information on this course and its requirements can be found below.
Course Designer: Andrew Burkett & James Fleming with updates by Dr. Matthew Wayne Guy
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work completely through each unit and all of its assigned materials, in order. Be sure to take detailed and organized notes for every unit, and for all resources. This will help prepare you for the Final Exam. Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
Table of Contents: You can find the course's units at the links below.