Return to Table of Contents
For those students in Dr. Nighan's Honors British Literature class (and anyone else who cares to explore) who asked to have the "big board" notes available, here they are chronologically from the Classical period to the Modern period...
Classical Greece-- 500 BCE:
The Mimetic theory
Chain of being:
Ideas (the forms)
the Maker (Timaeus)
Plato - poet is father of lies: 3x's removed from the truth (but Socratic irony) Forms above matter: does the poet imitate the matter or the idea?
Aristotle: formal, material, efficient and final cause" the Poetics: the forms are "in" matter..."Tragedy is the imitation of an action..." Soul of tragedy is plot (dramatization of universals) occasioning pity and fear (catharsis)
|The views of history:
1-theocentric (God centered)
Plato and the soul:
|Ideas from the Greeks:
"Man is the measure of all things" (Protagoras)
|The Anglo-Saxon Period--to 1066:||The Medieval Period--1066 to 1485:|
|The journey archetype:
Beowulf as song:
"The mightiest mead hall made by man...[was] menaced by the marauding monster."
A society in flux...pagan to Christian values.
Three moments of greatness in the life of a man.
Beowulf as pagan and/or Christian
the problem of age...the tragedy is to be alive at the time (Tolkien)
The role of the scop...oral tradition: poet and historian:
Values: honor, courage, loyalty, military values (comitatus code) of honor, revenge, Star Trek fans: think Klingons
The danger of exile: The Wanderer and The Seafarer
|Chain of being:
|Sociology of the chain...more links will be added: see Chaucer's Monk's Tale.
(What has to be added to the chain?)
.Man unique on chain:
-soul yearns for God (Up)
-body yearns for world (Down)-
-form (idea) is UP on the chain
Chain defines moral perspectives:
-Up in the chain is good (realism)
-Down is bad (nominalism)
-FAITH is UP on the chain
Metaphysics--what is really real?
Epistemology--how do we know reality?
Problems in Medieval philosophy:
-the one and the many / plenitude
-must God create? (how much)
|Authors and influences:
Chaucer: the father of English poetry uses the chain (modified) in the Canterbury Tales
Aristotle's logic --deduction and the Summa.
|The pragmatic theory --Sidney's Apology for Poetry:
Diversity of Knowledge...beginnings of discipline--theology becomes:
The CHAIN CONTINUES..but in revolutionary times
|With the rise of science, nominalism is outpacing realism: moral implications?
--how do we know God?...
Sidney--the sonnet and sonnet sequence, and literary criticism
The 'golden age of drama'-Shakespeare and Marlowe
|The Seventeenth C.--1603-1660:||The Neo-Classical Period--1660-1789:|
|Continuation of the Renaissance, but NO CHAIN OF BEING...
-the execution of Charles and the Cromwell protectorate
Age of confusion and paradox:
|THE CHAIN IS BACK, BUT THIS TIME BASED. ON....? (See Pope's Essay on Man)
Names for the Period:
Recall above (classical model of the soul)-the 'best of all worlds' now, but...?
|The Romantic Period--1798-1832:||The Victorian -Modern Period--1832-__:|
|Rooted in paradox...the chain is gone
The expressive theory...what or who is imitated?
-Rousseau--father of Romanticism (but see Neo-Classical period)
The Dark side of Romanticism (Gothic)
|The Victorian Period: 1832-1901
They KNEW they were different. Why?
Philosophy: of what knowledge is of most use? (utility--greatest good for greatest number:
Ethics--how to manage leisure time
-Dickens...the age of the novel: Hard Times
-Arnold (realist): Dover Beach
-Browning: My Last Duchess-dramatic monologue
The Modern Period 1901-20__):
The information age: google.com
1-modern man...T.S. Eliot--The Hollow Men and The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock.
2-the journey archetype--Heart of Darkness
3-the novel of controversy: The DaVinci Code
4-The novel of introspection; Henry James
5-the best seller : Harry Potter