ENGLISH 451 - Studies in Literature, 1600-1830
Section: 001 Poets, Lovers, Madmen
Term: FA 2012
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

According to Shakespeare, the lunatic, the lover, and the poet share similarly hyperactive imaginations. The frenzied activity of their seething brains produces wonders that, while sometimes leading them astray, can also lead to profound insight of a kind that reason alone can never hope to attain. This course will be devoted to exploring just what makes these three types of frenzied imagination tick. How does the poet fashion the stuff of language to provide for the “airy nothings” of imagination, in Shakespeare’s terms, “a local habitation and a name”? How is it, according to literary convention and modern psychology, that romantic infatuation is able so thoroughly to enrapture the very core of our being and transform our outlook on the world? And finally, what, if anything, do love and poetry really have to do with the far more troubling specter of madness, whose victims seem to be cut loose from reality altogether, so that they “see more devils than vast hell can hold?” A variety of literary works will provide the entrance point to our investigations, but we will also rely upon recent scholarship in cognitive science, psychology, cultural history, and anthropology to help frame and inform our inquiries.

Course Requirements:

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ENGLISH 451 - Studies in Literature, 1600-1830
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (REC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Coursepack Location:
Additional readings will be added to CTools site over the course of the semester
ISBN: 9780199535866
A midsummer night's dream, Author: William Shakespeare ; edited by Peter Holland., Publisher: Oxford University Press Reissued. 2008
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0061710288
I is an other : the secret life of metaphor and how it shapes the way we see the world, Author: Geary, James, 1962-, Publisher: HarperCollins 2011
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0300124236
Why poetry matters, Author: Parini, Jay., Publisher: Yale University Press 2008
ISBN: 9780805077964
Why we love : the nature and chemistry of romantic love., Author: Helen Fisher., Publisher: H. Holt Paperback 2005
ISBN: 0199583021
The sorrows of young Werther, Author: Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2012
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 9780199537891
Don Quixote de la Mancha, Author: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra ; translated by Charles Jarvis ; edited with an introduction and notes by E.C. Riley., Publisher: Oxford University Press Reissued. 2008
ISBN: 9780192802668
Madness : a brief history, Author: Porter, Roy, 1946-2002., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2002
ISBN: 9780415255394
Madness and civilization : a history of insanity in the age of reason, Author: Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984., Publisher: Routledge 2001
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0199535779
Selected tales, Author: edited with an introduction and notes by David Van Leer., Publisher: Oxford University Press Reissued. 2008
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