ENGLISH 102G Great Books: Seduction & Betrayal

ENGLISH 102G | Open Schedule | Semester Two 2019 | 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.

As with all "great books" courses, a primary aim is to broaden your general cultural, historical and literary knowledge, while also extending your capacity to read, write, think and imagine. The works we will read all have rich histories of interpretation, offer many avenues for discussion, and promote increasing awareness of complex language.

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

  • William Shakespeare, Richard III
  • Lawrence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy
  • Lord Byron, Don Juan (Canto 1)
  • Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Miller’s Tale" (from The Canterbury Tales)
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
  • Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim


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

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