Literary Studies: The Legacy of England

Doctor Syntax - a British cartoon by Thomas Rowlandson.

"Doctor Syntax, in the middle of a smoaking hot political squabble, wishes to whet his whistle" by Thomas Rowlandson, early 19th century British cartoonist. (Image courtesy of the U.S. The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [reproduction number: LC-USZC4-3647 (color film copy transparency), part of the British Cartoon Prints Collection].)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2006



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Course Description

Course Description

Topic: The English sense of humor. This course examines English literature across genre and historical periods. It is designed for students who want to study English literature or writing in some depth, or to know more about English literary culture and history. Students will also learn about the relationships between literary themes, forms, and conventions and the times in which they were produced. Materials include: Medieval tales, riddles, and character sketches; Renaissance lyrics and a play, 18th-century satires in words and images, 19th century irony, modern stories and film.

Related Content

Stephen Tapscott. 21L.420 Literary Studies: The Legacy of England. Spring 2006. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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