ENGLISH HISTORY AND LITERATURE: AN ALTERNATIVE DIDACTIC GUIDE

This page includes all the posts I have written in these years to support my work in class during my lectures to my students and to support them in their studying.

It is structured like a book and divided in chapters starting with the Origins and ending with Present Times. Each post is meant to give basic knowledge of the historic background first of all, and then the literary setting as I firmly believe that providing a general idea of the historic development of events also gives a better understanding of the literature that developed in specific times. Following a chronological order is as important to link events together and thus provide a deeper knowledge of the overall picture alongside specific topics.

The choice of authors reflects the general idea of the courses I teach, they all provide, I believe, a sequence of cause and effects, as much as possible. My aim is to give students a virtual progression of human achievement to help them anchor the most crucial elements of specific ages in a sort of mental map that might aid them in easily connecting progress, on one side, and its back drops on the other so as to allow them to understand the different perspectives that every single event, topic may entail.

Chapter 1 – FROM THE ORIGINS TO THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS

HISTORY

From the Beginning to the Roman Empire

From the Great Invasions to the Battle of Hastings

LITERATURE

Anglo-Saxon Literature

Beowulf

Exercises, Readings and Textual Analysis

Open Questions on “From the Beginning to the Roman Empire” – HOMEWORK

Open Questions on “From the Great Invasions to the Battle of Hastings” – HOMEWORK

Beowulf Fights the Monster and Perishes – Excerpt

Open Questions on Beowulf – HOMEWORK

Chapter 2 – THE MIDDLE AGES

HISTORY

The Middle Ages – part 1

The Middle Ages – part 2

Outline – The Middle Ages

LITERATURE

Geoffrey Chaucer (approx. 1340- 1400)

Exercises, Readings and Textual Analysis

Open Questions on “Feudalism” – HOMEOWORK

The Wife of Bath, G. Chaucer – HOMEWORK (It contains an excerpt taken from the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales and open questions)

Chapter 3 – THE RENAISSANCE

HISTORY

The Tudor Dinasty

VIDEO LESSONS

Video Lesson n. 1 on The Tudor Dinasty – Henry VII

Video Lesson n. 2 on The Tudor Dinasty – Henry VIII

Video Lesson n. 3 on The Tudor Dinasty – Edward VI and Mary I

Video Lesson n. 4 on The Tudor Dinasty – Elizabeth I

LITERATURE

English Literature in the Renaissance

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Exercises, Readings and Textual Analysis

Excerpts taken from “Othello”, W. Shakespeare

VIDEO LESSONS

Video Lesson n. 1 – English Literature in the Renaissance

Video Lesson n. 2 – English Literature in the Renaissance

Video Lesson n. 1 – on William Shakespeare

Video Lesson n. 2 – on William Shakespeare

Video Lesson n. 1 – Excerpts Taken from “Othello”, W. Shakespeare

Video Lesson n. 2 – Excerpts Taken From “Othello”, W. Shakespeare

Chapter 4 – THE PURITAN AGE AND THE RESTORATION

HISTORY

The Puritan Age (1625-1660)

The Restoration (1660-1685) and the Glorious Revolution (1688-1714)

LITERATURE

John Milton (1608-1674)

Exercises, Readings and Textual Analysis

On the Puritan Age – HOMEWORK

“The Just-Created Adam” – “PARADISE LOST” (1667), J. Milton

“The Just-Created Adam”, J. Milton – HOMEWORK

“Satan’s Speech” – “PARADISE LOST” (1667), J. Milton

The Puritan Age and John Milton – Essay Questions

Chapter 5 – THE AUGUSTAN AGE

HISTORY

The Augustan Age (1714-1760)

Outline of The Augustan Age

LITERATURE

The Rise of the Middle Class and the Novel

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)

Exercises, Readings and Textual Analysis

Excerpt from Defoe’s “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders” (1722)

“Molly Becomes a Thief”, D. Defoe – HOMEWORK

Gulliver in Brobdignag

VIDEO LESSONS

Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe) Video Lesson n. 1 – L. R. CAPUANA

Daniel Defoe (The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders) Video Lesson n. 2 – L. R. CAPUANA

Chapter 5 – THE ROMANTIC AGE

HISTORY

LITERATURE

The Romantic Age

The Early Romantic Age – Outline

Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

William Blake (1757-1827)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851)

First Generation Romantic Poets – William Wordsworth and Samuel T. Coleridge

The Second Generation Romantic Poets

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Exercises, Readings and Textual Analysis

Second Generation Romantic Poets – Anthology

CHAPTER 6 – THE VICTORIAN AGE

HISTORY

THE VICTORIAN AGE (1830-1901) – L. R. CAPUANA

VICTORIANS’ IMPORTANT REFORMS – L. R. CAPUANA

LITERATURE

Charlotte and Emily Bronte

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Exercises, Readings and Textual Analysis

Excerpt from “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte

Excerpt from “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte

Excerpt from “The Importance of Being Earnest” by O. Wilde

Chapter 7 – FROM THE MODERN AGE TO PRESENT TIMES

HISTORY

The Twentieth Century

World War I and World War II

LITERATURE

Literature in the Twentieth Century

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970)

George Orwell (1903-1950)

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Orlando and A Room of One’s Own by V. Woolf – A More In-Depth Analysis

James Joyce (1882-1941)

Exercises, Readings and Textual Analysis

“The Chain-gang” – Heart of Darkness (1902), J. Conrad

“The horror!” – Heart of Darkness (1902), J. Conrad

Excerpt from “A Passage to India” (1924), E. M. Forster

Excerpt from “Animal Farm”, G. Orwell

Excerpt from “1984”, G. Orwell

Excerpt from “Orlando” by V. Woolf

Comparing Joyce’s and Woolf’s Stream of Consciousness Writing Technique

VIDEO LESSONS

Video-lesson on George Orwell

Video-lesson n. 2 on George Orwell (1903-1950) – Biography

Video-lesson n. 3 on George Orwell (1903-1950) – “Animal Farm” (1945)

Video-lesson n. 4 on George Orwell (1903-1950) – “1984”

Video Lesson n. 0 INTRODUCTION TO ORWELLS’ EXCERPTS’ READINGS AND COMMENTARIES

Video-lesson n. 1 Excerpt and Commentary – “Animal Farm” (1945), G. Orwell

Video-lesson n. 2 Excerpt and Commentary – “Animal Farm” (1945), G. Orwell

Video Lesson n. 1 Reading and Commentary  of Excerpt from “1984” (1949), G. Orwell

Video Lesson n. 2 Reading and Commentary of Excerpt from “1984” (1949), G. Orwell.

Video Lesson n. 1 – V. Woolf, J. Joyce and The Stream of Consciousness

Video Lesson n. 2 – Virginia Woolf and The Stream of Consciousness

Video Lesson n. 3 – James Joyce and The Stream of Consciousness (part 1)

Video Lesson n. 4. – James Joyce and the themes of Paralysis and Epiphany

Video Lesson n. 1 – Comparing Virginia Woolf’s and James Joyce’s Stream of Consciousness

Video Lesson n. 2 – Comparing Virginia Woolf’s and James Joyce’s Stream of Consciousness

Video Lesson n. 3 – Comparing Virginia Woolf’s and James Joyce’s Stream of Consciousness

Video Lesson n. 4 – Comparing Virginia Woolf’s and James Joyce’s Stream of Consciousness

Conference on Women’s Twentieth Century in English Literature

Video-lesson n.1 Women’s Twentieth Century – English Literature

Video-lesson n. 2 Women’s Twentieth Century – English Literature

Video-lesson n. 3 Women’s Twentieth Century – English Literature

USEFUL TIPS AND STUDY METHODS

WAYS TO START A SENTENCE

HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY – part 1

HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY – part 2

Evaluation Grids – L. R. CAPUANA

© L. R. Capuana

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