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COURSE NUMBER: ENGL 387
COURSE TITLE: Stealing Past the Watchful Dragons: History and Practice of Allegory
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr Arlette Zinck
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will study allegory and its power through selected readings. It will begin with a study of constituent elements and engagement with the assumptions underlying the allegorical tradition in biblical hermeneutics. The course will trace the form through the Latin fathers, Prudentius and Dante's justification of the form for non-sacred literature.

Prerequisites: ENGL 215
REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • Copies of the works we will study this term are available on the class moodle site and at the campus bookstore. The designated editions are required. Below are the three booksavailable at the bookstore.
  • Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. Ed. A.C. Hamilton.
  • Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress. Ed. Roger Pooley.
  • Lewis, C. S. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Essay 30%
In class presentation 25%
Terms and Definitions Tests & Reading Quizzes15%
Final Exam 30%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: What gives imaginative literature its power to move us? What is it about a symbolic story in particular that allows it to – in C.S. Lewis’s words -- ‘steal past the watchful dragons’ of our rational intellect and touch the emotional core of our being? In this course we will try to answer this question as we study the mode of allegory and experience its power in selected readings. This course will begin with the mechanics of the form and progress toward a reading of allegories from selected time periods and themes. It will begin with a study of constituent elements: at the heart of the allegorical form are humble literary tropes. It will also engage with the assumptions that underlie the allegorical tradition in biblical hermeneutic, trace the form through the Latin father, Prudentius and Dante’s justification of the form for non-sacred literature, and finally see how all of these things come together in the allegories selected for our course. As we will discover, allegory is about learning to see the abstract, the complex, and the extraordinary in the concrete, the simple and the everyday. It is training in the fine art ofseeing magic.
COURSE OUTLINE: January:
  • 6. An Introduction to the Course
  • 8. Keynote Lecture: Allegory or “other” speaking
  • 13. Biblical (Pauline) Allegoresis. Galatians 4:21-31
  • 15. Latin Allegory: Prudentius’s Psychomachia
  • 20. Class Cancelled
  • 22. Psychomachia
  • 27. Dante’s Letter to Can Grande
February:
  • 3. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Pardoner’s Tale
  • 5. Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene
  • 10. FQ Book One
  • 12. FQ Book One
  • 17. Reading Week
  • 19. Reading Week
  • 24. FQ Book Two
  • 26. FQ Book Two
March:
  • 3. FQ Book Three In-Class Presentation #1
  • 5. FQ Book Three In-Class Presentation #2
  • 10. John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
  • 12. PP Part One *Essay Due
  • 17. PP Part One In-Class Presentation #3
  • 19. PP Part One In-Class Presentation #4
  • 24. PP Part Two In-Class Presentation #5
  • 26. PP Part Two In-Class Presentation #6
  • 31. PP Part Two In-Class Presentation #7
April
  • 2. C.S. Lewis The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
  • 7. LW&W In-Class Presentation #8
  • 9. LW&W In-Class Presentation #9
  • 14. LW&W In-Class Presentation #10
  • 16. Review


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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