ENGLISH 102G Great Books: Seduction & Betrayal

ENGLISH 102G | Open Schedule | Semester One 2020 | City Campus | 15 points


This course examines a selection of exciting works by major authors from different periods in the history of English literature. It is organised around the theme of seduction and betrayal, in stories exploring attitudes to love and sex, to politics and ambition, to ethical conduct, and to the business and pleasure of reading itself.

Great Books: Seduction and Betrayal is for people who enjoy reading, want to broaden their experience of imaginative writing, and want to develop their ability to read attentively and write interestingly about what they read. Reading is a fundamental skill in contemporary society. It is also a very flexible skill. It serves different purposes and can be deployed in different ways according to need. In this class, we will look at reading as a skill that can analyse, evaluate, and respond to the complex verbal worlds of works of fiction. 

Readings include a play by Shakespeare, novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Joseph Conrad, and verse by Geoffrey Chaucer and Lord Byron, among others.

Learning outcomes

Skills and capacities to be developed in English 102G include:

  • How to interpret and respond to figurative language and fictional narrative structures
  • How to appreciate, evaluate and enjoy complex works of fiction of different kinds
  • How to navigate unfamiliar kinds of English, especially historical ones
  • How to think about the impact of fictional work on and in other aspects of culture and history
  • How to write about works of language and cultural production

Topics covered

  • Jane Austen,  Pride and Prejudice
  • Lord Byron,  Don Juan (Canto 1) 
  • Geoffrey Chaucer,   'The Miller’s Tale'from the Canterbury Tales
  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
  • Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim
  • William Shakespeare, Richard III
  • Selected poets,  Poems of seduction and betrayal 


Ten short tutorial quizzes (10%)
Two short responses (20%)
Essay (20%)
Two-hour examination (50%)

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