Faculty of Arts


Great Books: Seduction and Betrayal

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for ENGLISH 102.


How do we read a story? What happens to us as we do so? How does our experience compare to that of the characters IN the story? What benefit do we gain, and what risks do we run, entering into and coming out of a narrative?

The course explores a selection of exciting works by major authors from different periods and in different styles from English literary writing up to 1900. Readings are organised around the theme of seduction and betrayal, with chosen stories and poems exploring attitudes to love and sex, to politics and ambition, to "right conduct" and to the experience of reading itself. The works we read are "classics" in that they are exciting and challenging texts that will develop your ability to read complex narrative and imagery. They have rich interpretive histories that offer many avenues for discussion. Taking the course will broaden your general literary, cultural and historical knowledge, while developing skills in reading, writing and discussing; in thinking, imagining and feeling; in interpreting, appreciating and assessing; and in enjoying books! Of particular interest to us are questions of how narratives draw us in, get us involved and invite us to assess, judge and respond to their events. Do books seduce us? what do they want of us? can they betray us? 

Readings (listed below) include a play by Shakespeare, novels by Austen, Dickens and Conrad, verse by Chaucer and Byron and other works.

Availability 2018

Not offered in 2018; planned for 2019




William Shakespeare, Richard III

Lord Byron, Don Juan (Canto 1)

Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Miller’s Tale" (from The Canterbury Tales)

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

Recommended Reading

Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle, This Thing Called Literature  (Routledge, 2015)


10 short tutorial quizzes: 10 x 1% (10%)

Two x short (500 words) responses = 1000 words (20%)

One x essay = 1500 words (20%)

One x two-hour examination = 2000 words (50%)


ENGLISH 102: 15.0 points

Contact details | Search | Accessibility | Copyright | Privacy | Disclaimer | 1