Comparative Literature 30A


Major Works of European Literature: Classical and Medieval


Lecture time and location: MTW 11:00-12:25, Arts 1241

Enroll by section enrollment codes:
R 2:00-3:20, Phelps 1440, Enroll: 16485
11:00-12:20, Phelps 3519, Enroll: 16477

Instructor: James Donelan

Office: 1319 Girvetz Hall


Office Hours: Wednesday, 9:00-10:00


Lawall, Mack, et al., eds. The Norton Anthology of Western Literature, Volume I

A Reader Available at Graphikart in Isla Vista


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 midterm will be a 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:




8/7 Introduction: Literature in the Ancient World Notes

8/81Gilgamesh, 15; Enheduanna, Hymn to Innanna (reader) Notes More Notes

8/9 Excerpts from Genesis, 39 Notes


8/14 Excerpt from Job, Psalms, and Song of Songs, 66 Notes

8/15 Homer, excerpts from Iliad I, VI, VIII, IX, XVI, XVIII, XXII, XXIV, 100 Notes, More Notes, Essays by Parry (reader). First essay prospectus due. Suggested Topics

8/16 Homer, Odyssey I, IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX, XI, XXI, XXII, XXIII, XXIV, 206. Auerbach, "Odysseus' Scar" (reader). First essay outline due. Notes

First paper due in section this week.


8/21 Sappho, Lyrics, 497. Notes

8/22 Euripides, Medea, 688. Notes

8/23 Plato, Apology 756 and Aristotle, Poetics, 779. Notes


8/28 Midterm Second Essay Topics

8/29 Virgil, Aeneid I, II, IV, VI, VIII, XII, 926 Notes Notes

8/30 New Testament excerpts, 1082. Notes


9/4 Labor Day

9/5 Augustine, Confessions 1113. Second essay prospectus due. Notes

9/6 Beowulf, 1174. Notes

Second paper due in section this week.


9/11 Dante, Inferno, I-XV, 1456. Freccero, "Medusa" (reader).

9/12 Inferno, XVI-XXXIII, 1513. Notes

9/13 Final examination