The History of Literary Criticism

English 417/517   Fall 2001

Professor Crosswhite



Meetings and Contacts: Course meets MWF 9-9:50am in 125 Grayson. CRN is 15092/3. Office Hours are held W and Th 1:30-2:30 (and by appointment) in PLC 365. Phone: 346-3956 E-mail:


Texts: Critical Theory Since Plato. Ed. H. Adams. Revised edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992. The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles, translated by Robert Fagles, Penguin 1982, 1984.


Work and Grades

Ten-minute papers. Ten-minute paper on a question that arises during your reading is required for each day that reading is due. These papers will be graded P/NP. Everyone will start with an "A." After three missed/NP papers, each missing/NP paper will reduce your grade in this category by one step (.33). They must be typed. They may be e-mailed as long as they arrive by the time class begins. 10%


One short paper. Three copies of Question and thesis due Oct 19. First version, 4 pages, three copies, due Oct 22; revision, 4 pages, due Oct 29. All must be typed. All parts together account for 35%


Two 1-2 page commentaries on other students' papers. Two copies of each. Typed. Due in class on Oct 26. 20%


Take-home final. Distributed November 19; due by or before 10:15am Thursday, December 6 at PLC 365. Final papers may be slid under the door of PLC 365 at any time up to the due date. 35%


Graduate students are required to submit a 10-12 page paper instead of a take-home final. Due by or before 10:15am Thursday, December 6.


Participation in discussion and in-class work may raise or lower your final grade one step (.33).



Late work. Ten-minute papers, in-class work, and commentaries will not be accepted late. Final exams will not be accepted more than one day late. Finals and short papers will be reduced one letter grade for each day any part is late.







Honesty. Plagiarism/Cheating:


Access. If you have a documented disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, please make arrangements to meet with me during the first week of courses or at the earliest possible time. If you have not yet done so, please request that the counselor for students with disabilities send a letter verifying your disability.


Should you face a medical or personal problem of a magnitude to interrupt your work for the course, contact Academic Advising and Student Services (346-3211) for assistance. That office will notify all your professors and help arrange exceptions to course policies as appropriate.



First week: Read Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus

Second week: Read Antigone



M 24  Introduction.

W 26  Plato, Ion, Republic II and III (10-31).

F  28  Plato, Republic X (31-38) and VII (



M  1  Plato, Cratylus (38-48).

W  3  Aristotle, Poetics I-XIV (49-57).

F  5 Aristotle, Poetics XV-XXIV (57-66).


M 8  Longinus, On the Sublime, I-XV (75-86).

W  10  Longinus, On the Sublime XVI-XLIV (86-98).

F  12  Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, I-II  (107-113).


M  15  Medieval Reading and Criticism.

W  17 Thomas Aquinas, The Nature and Domain of Sacred Doctrine,

 Articles 9 and 10 (116-119). Dante, The Banquet and Letter to

 Can Grande Della Scala (120-122).

F  19  Review and Transition. Three copies of Question/Thesis due. Workshop.


M  22 Three copies of first paper due. Workshop.

W  24 Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry (142-162).

F  26 Commentaries due (2 copies of each one). Workshop.


M  29 Revised papers due. Summary and Transition.

W  31 Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism (273-282).


F  2 Giambattista Vico, The New Science (289-297).


M  5 Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our

Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (298-306).

W  7 David Hume, Of the Standard of Taste (307-315).

F   9 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment: Analytic of the Beautiful



M  12 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment: Analytic of the Sublime


W  14 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Philosophy of Fine Art


F  16  Marx and Marxism, Selections (624-627).


M  19 William Wordsworth, Preface to the Second Edition of Lyrical Ballads (436-

446).Take-home final distributed

W  21 John Keats, Selected Letters (492-494).

Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defense of Poetry (515-529).

F  23 Holiday


M  26 Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of

Music and Truth and Falsity in an Ultramoral Sense(628-639).

W  28  Conclusions. Reading TBA.



Take home final due by or before Thursday, December 6, by 10:15am at PLC 365.