The focus of this section of English 20 is literary history and what that means. We will read literature produced in Britain from the twelfth century to the seventeenth. We will read poetry written for the Norman aristocrats who conquered England in 1066; stories produced and circulated among Welsh audiences; earlier and later Arthurian literature; examples from Chaucer's poetry; poetry from the early Tudor period; one play by Shakespeare; and examples from the so-called Metaphysical Poets of the seventeenth century. We will consider how literary forms have a history and how we can trace the emergence of new forms out of older forms, and we will also discuss how changing expectations of audiences contribute to transformations and even revolutions in literary form. Grading will be based on a series of very short comparative essays (950 words) and an in-class final test.