ENGLISH 451 - Studies in Literature, 1600-1830
Fall 2013, Section 001 - Poets, Lovers, Madmen
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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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.

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ENGLISH 451 - Studies in Literature, 1600-1830
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (REC)
 In Person
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM

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