English 200: Literary Studies--Horrible Husbands and Wicked Wives

Professor Armstrong

The marriage relationship has been one of literature's most enduring subjects.  (Just a quick example of that endurance-we’ll read Macbeth as a Manga comic.) In this course, we’ll examine the darker aspects of that relationship as portrayed in literature in English from the Middle Ages until now.  You'll meet some of the most clearly horrible husbands and wicked wives imaginable as well as others who are much more ambiguous, such as the long-suffering Linda in Death of a Salesman.  We will use this examination as a means to achieve the course’s primary objective, namely to develop your ability to read literature more alertly and perceptively, then analyze, discuss, and write about it in a way that is clear, thoughtful, and insightful.  We'll be reading a wide range of genres including, but not limited to, poetry, short stories, dramas, and novels. 

Course requirements include quizzes, short written homework responses, three short papers, a mid-term, and a final exam.