Comparative Literature 30A


Major Works of European Literature: Classical and Medieval


Lecture time and location: MTW 12:30-1:55, HSSB 1173

Enroll by section enrollment codes:
R 12:30-1:50, Phelps 1420, Enroll: 16386
2:00-3:20, Phelps 1420, Enroll: 16394

Instructor: James Donelan

Office: 1523 South Hall

Office Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:30-11:30


Lawall, Mack, et al., eds. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces

Hexter, A Guide to the Odyssey



Course Requirements:


Students must attend all lectures and discussion sections. The amount of reading expected for each class meeting varies; students are urged to plan their reading schedules carefully. Students will write two five-page essays, a midterm, and a final, along with a brief prospectus and an outline for each essay.


Grades will be determined as follows:

        first essay, 20%

        midterm, 20%

        second essay, 25%

        final, 30%

        participation 5%


The essays will be critical interpretations of a work or works examined in the course, with scholarly secondary sources and proper MLA citation style. The take-home midterm will be an open-book synthesis of ideas from the works studied in the first half of the course. The final will be a comprehensive examination of all works in the course (with emphasis on the second half). Paper topic suggestions, course policies, lecture outlines, and other materials will be posted on the course web site.  In addition, keep in mind the following:





6/21 Introduction: Literature in the Ancient World Notes

6/22 Gilgamesh, 16 Notes

6/23 Genesis 6-9, 55 and Job, 72 Notes


6/28 Homer, Iliad I, VI, VIII, IX, 98, Notes First essay prospectus due. Suggested Topics

6/29 Iliad, XVI, XVIII, XXII, XXIV, 150 Notes

6/30 Homer, Odyssey I-XII, 209. First essay outline due. Notes

First paper due in section this week.


7/5 Happy Independence Day!

7/6 Homer, Odyssey XIII-XXIV, 360; Sappho, Lyrics, 514 Notes

7/7 Sophocles, Oedipus the King, 596 Notes


7/12 Midterm Second Essay Topics

7/13 Virgil, Aeneid I, II, IV, 814 Notes

7/14 Aeneid, VI, VIII, XII, 868 Notes


7/19 Augustine, Confessions 1004. Second essay prospectus due. Notes

7/20 Beowulf, 1057

7/21 Beowulf, continued. Second essay outline due.

Second paper due in section this week.


7/26 Dante, Inferno, I-XV, 1303

7/27 Inferno, XVI-XXXIII, 1348

7/28 Final examination