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Semester/Topic Description::

In this course we investigate central texts in literary theory from the Greeks to early nineteenth-century Europe, with attention to key critical terms and concepts. Topics of discussion include the nature and origin of literary creation, socio-political ideas about the function of poetry and the poet, mimetic models of literature, the roles of art and nature, literature in relation to its audience, theories of genre, defenses of poetry, allegorical interpretation, the idea of the sublime, definitions of the imagination, poetic language, and the application of critical theory to particular texts. Readings include selections from: Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Longinus, Dante, Augustine, Sidney, Corneille, Dryden, Pope, De Stael, Johnson, Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, and Shelley. Requirements include 5 short papers and a final exam. Not open to first-year students.