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Section and TA Information


Final Exam Tuesday, 18 December, 8-11 a.m., 145 Dwinelle - Bring bluebook(s)!

The following Milton poems from the Norton Anthology are to be read for Wednesday 14 November:

"On Shakespeare" (p. 1782), "How Soon Hath Time" (p. 1812), "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent" (p. 1814).

Paraside Lost, Book I.

The following Donne poems from the Norton Anthology were to be read for Monday 22 October:

Songs and Sonnets, beginning p. 1236: "The Flea," "The Good-Morrow," "Song," "The Sun Rising," "The Canonization," "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," "The Ecstasy"; Holy Sonnets, beginning p. 1268: Sonnets 1, 5, 7, 10, 14.

The following poems from the Norton Anthology were to be read for Monday 15 October:

Wyatt, pp. 527-8, 529; Surrey, pp. 570-2, 576; Sidney, pp. 916ff: Sonnets 1, 5, 31, 39, 71.

Clerk's Tale (summary)

Walter, an Italian nobleman, choses for his wife Griselda, the daughter of the poorest peasant in his realm, who agrees not only to marry him, but never to begrudge his slightest wish. A weakness in his character drives Walter to put Griselda to terrible tests: first, he sends away their first child, a daughter, giving the impression that she will be put to death; second, he sends away their second child, a son, giving the same impression; third, he sends her back to her father, telling her that he has decided to marry another, younger woman; fourth, he recalls Griselda to serve as the handmaiden for his new wife.

Griselda says nothing by way of complaint, except to beg Walter not to treat his new wife as harshly as he treated Griselda herself. Finally Walter breaks, admits that the young girl he pretended he was going to marry is actually their daughter, now grown up. He also concedes that his harsh testing of Griselda has been unnecessary, and he compliments Griselda on her perfect patience. They live happily thereafter.

NOTE: The clerk protests several times during the tale that Walter was behaving with unwarranted suspicions of Griselda's obedient nature; he also interprets the tale in an Epilogue, saying that such docile behavior in a real woman would be intolerable. Students of 45A (Nelson's section) are reminded that they must read the closing section of the Clerk's tale, pp. 166-68 in the Kolve edition.

Chaucer Images

Chaucer, from Ellsmere MS, Huntington Library

The Manciple from Cambridge University Library MS

Various images

Syllabus (subject to change)

Eng 45A/1 Literature in English Fall 2001   160 Kroeber, MW 9-10
Mr. Nelson (office 421 Wheeler): socrates.berkeley.edu/~ahnelson/

M Aug 27  Introduction: Chaucer's language
W     29  Chaucer's life; Canterbury Tales: General Prologue
F     31  Section: Chaucer's Language

M Sep  3  Labor Day Holiday - No Classes; Office closed
W      5  General Prologue
F      7  Section: General Prologue

M     10  General Prologue (end); Knight's Tale Book 1
W     12  Knight's Tale Book 2
F     14  Section: General Prologue

M     17  Knight's Tale Books 3-4
W     19  Miller's P&T, Reeve's P&T
F     21  Section: Knight's Tale

M     24  Wife of Bath's P&T
W     26  [Clerk's P&T]; Franklin's P&T
F     28  Section: Chaucer

M Oct  1  Pardoner's P&T
W      3  Nun's Priest's P&T
F      5  Section: Chaucer

M      8  Parson's Prologue; Retraction
W     10  Midterm Exam
F     12  Section: Chaucer

M     15  Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney: Poems
W     17  Spenser's life and language; Amoretti
F     19  Section: Poetry

M     22  Donne, Songs and Sonnets
W     24  Marlowe, Dr. Faustus
F     26  Section: Marlowe and/or Donne

M     29  Spenser, Faerie Queene (Book I)
M     31  Faerie Queene
F Nov  2  Section: Faerie Queene

M      5  Faerie Queene
W      7  Faerie Queene
F      9  Section: Faerie Queene

M     12  Veterans Day Holiday: No Classes; Office closed
W     14  Milton,life and language; Paradise Lost
F     16  Section: Paradise Lost

M     19  Paradise Lost
W     21  Paradise Lost
Th    22  Thanksgiving Holiday: No Classes; Office closed

M     26  Paradise Lost
W     28  Paradise Lost
F     30  Section: Paradise Lost

M Dec  3  Paradise Lost (conclusion)
W      5  Course summary and review
F      7  Section: Review

Final Examination: Tuesday, 18 December 8-11 a.m.


Class participation in this English 45A is mandatory. Attendance will be taken often in lecture, and always in Friday section. More than two unexcused absences in lecture and more than one unexcused absence in section will result in a reduction of your final grade by one grade step (e.g., from B to B-) for each excessive absence. (Persistent tardiness will accumulate as unexcused absences.) Do not skip section or class on the day a paper is due for the sake of completing the paper!

Paper topics and deadlines will be set in section. No re-writes for improved grades; instructors will be happy, however, to look at drafts in advance of deadlines.

Final grades will be calculated as follows (with reductions for excessive absences):

Quiz totals           =   5%
2 papers @ 15% & 20%  =  35%
Midterm exam          =  15%
Final exam            =  25%
Section grade         =  20% (=55% including papers) 
TOTAL                 = 100%


Each student is responsible for checking this website at the beginning of the semester, and regularly throughout the semester, for cautionary warnings (for example, concerning plagiarism, instructions on writing papers, changes to the above reading-list, and current announcements.

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