This course will emphasize works by major Victorian poets, including Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, the Rossettis, Hopkins, and Hardy. We will also read collateral prose statements by important critics like Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, and Walter Pater.
Text and context will be viewed as mutally illuminating. Running themes will include: the nature of poetry and its changing social functions; the character and destiny of the poet; the representation of the varieties of love; and the relations of writer, reader, and text. Two ten-page papers and a final will be required.