Syllabus of English Literature

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Canadian Academic English Language Assessment

If you are interested in exploring cultures, emotions and power of words, then literature is the best field of study for you. English literature courses are much like time travel wagons which take you on an inspirational journey into the world of Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and many other profound novelists. But before signing up for a literature course, it is essential to know about the subjects covered in the entire program duration. Here is an insightful blog on the syllabus of English Literature to help you out. As we are discussing the English Literature syllabus, we will cover the bachelor’s (BA English literature) as well as master’s (MA English literature) level courses.

“Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

John Keating, Dead Poets Society 

BA English Literature 

Being a popular undergraduate degree BA in English literature usually ranges for three years. During the course, candidates will study a variety of subjects during the three years. Let us have a year-wise look at the BA Hons.

English Literature Syllabus BA 1st Year 

The initial year will familiarize you with various essential concepts about different eras. You will come across various thoughts, ideas and texts of popular philosophers based in various centuries. Some of the important topics of the first-year syllabus of English literature are:

  • EV Lucas: Bores
  • Richard Steele: The Trumpet Club
  • A G Gardiner: A Fellow Traveller
  • Charles Lamb: Poor Relations
  • Robert Browning: My Last Duchess
  • Sylvia Plath: Mirror
  • PB Shelley: Ode to the West Wind
  • Robert Frost Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Have a look at these Best English Grammar Books

BA 2nd Year English Literature Syllabus

Entering the second year will take you on a tour of advanced studies in the same domain. In this year you will be studying a variety of prose and poetry based on various social activities of multiple centuries. Listed below are some important concepts of the syllabus for English literature-

  • The Village Schoolmaster: Oliver Goldsmith
  • Sita: Toru Dutt
  • The land Where There Were No Old Men: Jean Ure
  • I Have A Dream: Martin Luther King Junior
  • Christopher Marlowe: Dr. Faustus
  • Thomas Wyatt: Forget Not Yet That Right Intent, the Appeal
  • Romantic age
  • Victorian and Modern Age
  • Chaucer to Shakespeare

Must Read: Career in Functional English

Syllabus of English Literature for BA Final Year

During the journey of your final year in the course, you will brush up your prior knowledge as well as get a hold of a bunch of new topics. As it is the final year of the course some universities may demand candidates to present a project upon any one of the topics that are there in the 3rd year.

  • King James Version the Gospel of Saint Mark
  • John Bunyan: The Pilgrim’s Progress
  • John Milton: Paradise Lost Book 9
  • Richard Lovelace to Althea from Prison
  • Foreign Contribution to the Growth of English
  • Drama Tragedy, Comedy Tragi-Comedy, Melodrama
  • Function of the Realistic Novel, The Gothic Novel, The Historical Novel and the Psychological Novel
  • With the Photographer: Stephen Leacock
  • Tolerance by TM Forster
  • The Nightingale and the Rose: Oscar Wilde

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”

– William Shakespeare

English Literature Syllabus MA

Now let’s move onto the syllabus of master’s level course in English literature. Like most of the master’s courses, MA English Syllabus also lasts for a duration of two years in which students will have to complete four semesters. There will be separate examinations held for each semester and in the final year or semester, they have to present a thesis.  Mentioned below is the year-wise syllabus for English literature.

First Year 

Since MA  English literature is an advance course in the same field, your syllabus will include a blend of topics that you have studied previously as well as some new ones. Let us have a look at the for MA-

  • Traditional English Drama
  • The Structure of Modern English
  • English Language and Literature Teaching
  • Indian Prose Work
  • English Fiction

Second Year 

In the final year of your MA course, you will be studying the below-mentioned subjects-

  • English Poetry
  • Shakespeare
  • Literary Theory and Criticism
  • American Literature
  • Literature Language and Literature Teaching
  • Modern Criticism
  • Research Methodology

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”

– Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own 

English Literature Syllabus Class 10 ICSE
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English Literature Syllabus Class 9 & 10 CBSE 2021- 22
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English Literature Syllabus Optional UPSC PDF

UPSC Offers English as one of the optional exams. It is important to know about the syllabus before appearing for the exam, it helps to build a better exam strategy. Here is the syllabus of UPSC:

UPSC Optional Syllabus for English Literature Paper I

  1. William Shakespeare: King Lear and The Tempest
  2. John Donne. The following poems :
  • Canonization
  • Death be not proud
  • The Good Morrow
  • On his Mistress going to bed
  • The Relic
  1. John Milton: Paradise Lost, I, II, IV, IX
  2. Alexander Pope. The Rape of the Lock
  3. William Wordsworth. The following poems
  • Ode on Intimations of Immortality
  • Tintern Abbey
  • Three years she grew
  • She dwelt among untrodden ways
  • Michael
  • Resolution and Independence
  • The World is too much with us
  • Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour
  • Upon Westminster Bridge
  1. Alfred Tennyson: In Memoriam
  2. Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House

Section: B

  1. Jonathan Swift. Gulliver’s Travels
  2. Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice
  3. Henry Fielding. Tom Jones
  4. Charles Dickens. Hard Times
  5. George Eliot. The Mill on the Floss
  6. Thomas Hardy. Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  7. Mark Twain. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

UPSC Optional Syllabus of English Literature Paper II

Texts for detailed study are listed below. Candidates will also be required to show adequate knowledge of the following topics and movements :

Section: A

  1. William Butler Yeats. The following poems:
  •  Easter 1916
  •  The Second Coming
  •  A Prayer for my daughter
  •  Sailing to Byzantium
  •  The Tower
  •  Among School Children
  •  Leda and the Swan
  •  Meru
  •  Lapis Lazuli
  1. T.S. Eliot. The following poems :
  •  The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock
  •  Journey of the Magi
  •  Burnt Norton
  1. W.H. Auden. The following poems :
  •  Partition
  •  Musee des Beaux Arts
  •  in Memory of W.B. Yeats
  •  Lay your sleeping head, my love
  •  The Unknown Citizen
  •  Consider
  •  Mundus Et Infans
  •  The Shield of Achilles
  •  September 1, 1939
  •  Petition
  1. John Osborne : Look Back in Anger
  2. Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot
  3. Philip Larkin
  •  Next
  •  Please
  •  Deceptions
  •  Afternoons
  •  Days
  •  Mr. Bleaney
  1. A.K. Ramanujan
  •  Looking for a Causim on a Swing
  •  A River
  •  Of Mothers, among other Things
  •  Love Poem for a Wife 1
  •  SamllScale Reflections on a Great House
  •  Obituary

We hope this blog gave you all the required information regarding the syllabus of English Literature. Find the best fit course and a top-notch university that can lift your career with Leverage Edu.

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