Department of English

University of Toronto

2000 Series Course Descriptions

Ben Jonson
J. Astington

Course Description:
Critical reading of a representative selection of the entire works of Jonson from the 1590s to the 1630s: plays, poems, masques, occasional entertainments, and prose. Jonson's literary life was long and varied, and it can make Shakespeare's look constrained by comparison. The difference in their long-term fame is evident, but Jonson had the more immediate influence on the writers surrounding and following him; there never was a "School of Will." Ben Jonson can be made to sound forbidding by calling him "learnèd," an adjective attached to his work fairly early in critical history. While recognising some of the rhetorical frameworks in which he worked we shall concentrate on encountering the energy, inventiveness, and occasional sheer wildness of his writing.

Course Reading List:
Major plays from Every Man In to Bartholomew Fair; selected early and later plays. Selected poems from Jonson's major collections, with some other uncollected poems. Selected masques and entertainments from Queens to Bolsover. Discoveries, Conversations with Drummond.

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
Continuous evaluation of class preparation/participation; 20% Oral seminar presentation; 35% Final written paper, c. 5K words: 45%

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2018)
Date/Time: Tuesdays, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB TBA (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

Top of Page

Return to 2018-2019 Graduate Course Timetable.

Paradise Lost
Instructor TBA

Course Description:
In this seminar, we will have a rare opportunity to work closely with a single, literary text. Although numerous issues will come up spontaneously in the course of discussion, we will focus on tensions that arise from two different approaches to Paradise Lost: studies that situate it in the historical moment of its production (involving interrelations with contemporary texts and events as well as its precursors) and those that emphasize the history of its reception. When we analyze specific conceptual, generic, verbal, and formal features of Paradise Lost, we will want to reflect upon these two different approaches, as well as tensions between them, by critically examining the sources of any assumptions, knowledge and reading practices, whether our own or those of editors or commentators we come across in research.

Course Reading List:
Texts: The Oxford Milton; John Milton, Milton: Political Writings, ed. Martin Dzelzainis
Texts have been ordered through The Bob Miller Book Room, 180 Bloor Street West, Lower Concourse, Toronto. Telephone: (416) 922-3557

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
Participation (TBA), Facilitations (TBA) Two facilitations or co-facilitations (TBA), Textual Analysis (TBA), Essay Proposal (TBA), Final Essay (TBA).

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2019)
Date/Time: Tuesdays, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB TBA (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

Top of Page

Return to 2018-2019 Graduate Course Timetable.

Return to Graduate Courses


Site Information:

Site Tools:

Click below for directions to the University of Toronto!

University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Map of St. George Campus
Map of Mississauga Campus
Map of Scarborough Campus