First cycle degree in MODERN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES (discontinued)

Campus: PADOVA

Language: English

Teaching period: Second Semester


Number of ECTS credits allocated: 9

Prerequisites: Prerequisites of the course are: good knowledge of English, of literary terminology, and of English cultural history.
Students are asked to complete the English Literature 1 and 2 exams before taking English Literature 3.
Examination methods: The oral exam at the end of the course will also include an assessment of the students' class and Moodle activities.
Course unit contents: The course focuses on "Sex, Seduction, and the Word in English Literature, 16th-18th centuries". Starting with the famous seduction scenes featuring Shakespeare's Richard III and Milton's Satan, the course will analyse some relevant works of this period to see the varied articulation of the topic. The theme of seduction will thus be studied in all its multifaceted manifestations throughout the ages: seduction as an exercise of rhetoric enlisted to serve the power of man (Richard III) or of knowledge (Satan); as the expression of satire during the emergence of the bourgeoisie and a vindication of the sexual differences (Wycherley); as an occasionally violent manifestation of male, patriarchal power (Richardson and Pope); and the satirical reversal of roles between man and woman (Sterne and Fielding). Together with showing the varying conceptions of man/woman relationship throughout these periods, the scene of seduction also displays the union between body and word within the different mainstream discourses on sexuality and the writers' appropriation of them.
The study of this theme will first rest on the canonical models of seduction represented by Shakespeare's Richard III and Milton's Satan, and then on the scenes of seduction in satirical tradition (17th century: Wycherley; 18th century: Swift, Pope, Richardson, Sterne, Fielding).
The literary texts will be put in comparison with the historical and cultural contexts of these periods.