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Course : English Survey of Literature I

Course Number
ENGL 2813
Section Number
Spring 2024
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time
Friday, May 03, 2024 12:01 am - 11:59 pm

Virtual Office Hours: MTWR 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM. You may call me ANY time at my office 940-397-4246. My Outlook email will record your call and send it to me as email. I cannot miss it.


Required books (please purchase ACTUAL books with PAGE numbers):

Beowulf: A Verse Translation. Translated by Seamus Heaney. Edited by Daniel Donoghue. 2nd Norton Critical Edition. Norton, 2019. ISBN: 978-0-393-93837-1.


Sir Thomas Malory. Le Morte Darthur: Selections. Broadview Anthology of British Literature Edition. Broadview Press: 2015. ISBN: 978-1-55481-159-5.


John Milton. Paradise Lost. Edited by Gordon Teskey. Norton Critical Edition. Norton, 2005. ISBN: 978-0-393-92428-2.


The Showings of Julian of Norwich. Edited by Denise N. Baker. A Norton Critical Edition. Norton, 2005. ISBN 0-393-97915-6.

Course goals

Read literary texts united by their interest in fate, destiny, and providence

Describe key moments in texts; discuss fate, destiny, and providence.

Engage in a writing process and utilize credible sources.

Use sources ethically and follow a designated style guide [MLA].

Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English.


PowerPoint 1 Beowulf & Malory’s Le Morte Darthur - due before 11:59 PM FRIDAY February 23


PowerPoint 2 Milton’s Paradise Lost & Julian of Norwich’s Showings - due before 11:59 PM FRIDAY April 12.


The ESSAY - due before 11:59 PM Friday May 3.


ATTENDANCE: Attendance is by login history in D2L. You need to visit our D2L modules in CONTENT our first two days in order to be counted present in our course.


GRADING: PowerPoint 1 and 2 are each worth 30 percent of the semester grade; the Essay is worth 40 percent.

Grade values are as follows: 90-100 (A), 80-83 (B), 70-79 (C), 60-69 (D), and below 60 is F.


The final calculated grade in D2L is the actual semester grade. It is NOT rounded up: e.g., an 89.9 is a B (not an A); a 79.9 is a C (not a B); a 69.9 is a D (not a C); 59.9 is an F (not a D). The same is true for assignment grades—PowerPoints 1, 2, and the Essay—they are not rounded up.

Reading Schedule & Due Dates for the Drop Box

OPTION – GETTING MY INPUT ON YOUR PARAGRAPHS: Only I can see your writing. Only you can see my reply. In CONTENT, click on the Discussion Forum & Topic module. By the title of forum, click on the arrow for VIEW TOPIC, which will give you a textbox into which you can type or copy and paste. Post to me.



Week 1 January 16-19

Be familiar with the Race with Breca (lines 491-661), but you cannot use it for a description paragraph because I have already claimed it for the model PowerPoint 1. You CAN use the fight with Grendel (including celebration w. Wealhtheow), the fight with Grendel’s mother (including Hrothgar’s homily against pride), and the Fight with Dragon (death and funeral of Beowulf).

Read the FIGHT with Grendel and the celebration with Queen Wealhtheow: lines 86-1007, 1158-1231.


Week 2 January 22-26

The FIGHT with Grendel’s mother: lines 1251-1650; Hrothgar’s homily on Pride and Heremod: lines 1651-1798.

The FIGHT with the Dragon: lines 2200-2354; 2510-2820; the FUNERAL of Beowulf: lines 3076-3182.


Week 3 January 29-February 2

Malory’s LE MORTE DARTHUR: From The Marriage of King Uther unto King Arthur: pp. 31-43. Every page is important but students are drawn to the episode of Uther's deception pp. 31-37 and especially the episode of the Sword in the Stone pp. 37-43. From Sir Tristram de Lyones (Selections concerning Lancelot and Elaine of Corbin): see where Dame Elaine of Corbin tricks Lancelot into conceiving by her the son prophesied to exceed his father and achieve the Grail pp. 79-87; the Holy Grail heals Lancelot after a long period of madness pp. 87-101; Lancelot cannot accept a happy life with Elaine on the Joyous Isle and calls himself The Knight That Hath Trespassed pp. 101-109.


Week 4 February 5-9

For background, be familiar with this particular scenario from The Noble Tale of the Sankgreal: Galahad (Lancelot’s son by Elaine) takes his rightful seat in the Siege Perilous (the long empty chair at the round table—until now); the Holy Grail appears to the knights of the round table pp. 110-122 (note: you cannot use this appearance of the Grail because I have claimed it for the model PowerPoint 1).


But the following Grail scenarios are free and clear for your use: Lancelot confesses his great sin to the hermit pp. 125-132; Lancelot is driven back by the Grail and lies in a coma for 24 days pp. 140-147; Galahad (Lancelot’s son) sees Christ rise from the Grail pp. 149-154; Galahad completes the quest of the Grail in Sarras pp. 155-160.


Week 5 February 12-16

From The Death of Arthur: pp. 246-309: Agravain and Mordred arrange for the discovery of Lancelot's adultery with Queen Guinevere pp. 246-254; Lancelot rescues Queen Guinevere but kills the brothers of Gawain at the same time pp. 256-282; Lancelot retreats to Benwick in France and reluctantly fights Gawain who is mortally wounded pp. 282-294; the death of Gawain and Arthur pp. 294-309. 


Week 6 February 19-23

SUBMIT POWERPOINT 1 BEOWULF & MALORY’S ARTHUR to the DROP BOX before 11:59 PM Friday February 23. Threads are just for my input. In order for your paragraphs to count and be graded they must be in your PowerPoint w. relevant images and submitted to the DROP BOX (in ASSESSMENTS on your navigation bar, under ASSIGNMENTS).


Milton’s Paradise Lost:

Eternal Providence 1.1-26.

Satan, Sin, and Death at the gates of hell: 2.629-1055.


Week 7 February 26 – March 1

Satan observes Adam and Eve; Eve’s initial reluctance to accept Adam: 4.288- 538.

The Dream that Satan plants in Eve’s sleeping mind: 5.26-135.


Week 8 March 4-8

Adam tells Raphael about the creation of Eve: 8.349-653.

The Fall of Adam and Eve: 9.445-1189.


SPRING BREAK March 11-15


Week 9 March 18-22

War in Heaven: Michael wounds Satan: 6.245-353

War in Heaven: Satan and rebel angels deploy cannons; God’s angels react by throwing mountains at the rebel angels; total destruction of heaven: 6.469-679.

The Son drives the Ezekiel chariot and drives Satan and rebel angels out of heaven: 6.680-912


Punishment of Satan, Sin, and Death: 10.410-640.

The Son judges Adam and Eve: 10.68-223.

Michael leads Adam and Eve from the Garden: 12.375-649


Week 10 March 25 – 27 – Campus Closed Thursday and Friday March 28-29

For background, be sure to familiarize yourself with Julian's most important vision: Christ's promise that ALL SHALL BE WELL AND ALL MANNER OF THINGS SHALL BE WELL (pp. 39-46, chs. 27-32).


The Vision of the Servant and the Lord: pp. 70-79, ch. 51.

The Vision of the Motherhood of Christ: pp. 90-97, chs. 58-61.


Week 11 April 1-5

The Vision of Christ's bleeding head: pp. 8-14, chs. 4-7.

The Vision of Christ's face half covered by blood: pp. 17-18, Ch. 10. Notice: on p. 17 that her vision goes under the sea!

Ch. 11: Here Julian sees God “in a poynte” (p. 20): Julian’s term for providence is the Foreseeing Wisdom of God. God never removed his hand from his works: pp. 20-21.

The Vision of the Plenteous Bleeding: p. 22, ch. 12.

The Vision of the Sharp Thorns & Julian’s feeling of Christ’s pain: pp. 26-29, chs. 16-17.


Week 12 April 8-12

Submit PowerPoint 2 Milton’s Paradise Lost & Julian’s Showings to the DROP BOX before 11:59 PM Friday April 12. We begin the ESSAY! Paragraph One is a mini-essay. It addresses fate, destiny, or providence in TWO of our four works and anticipates some of the descriptive details we will see in paragraphs two and three. You have already written paragraphs two and three (which represent two different works). As a thread for my input, post to me paragraphs one, four, five, and six (if you wish—it’s optional, not required). You can send each of these paragraphs one at a time or altogether.


For my input, in CONTENT click on the module for the ESSAY Discussion Forum and start a thread by clicking on the arrow by the forum title; click on VIEW TOPIC. Type directly or copy-and-paste from your document into the text box. Do not use the attachment function. Post to me. I am the ONLY person who can see your work. You are the only person who can see my reply.


Week 13 April 15-19

More opportunity for input: Post to me PARAGRAPH ONE, PARAGRAPHS FOUR AND FIVE, and PARAGRAPH SIX—just one of these or all four. You have already written paragraphs two and three.


Week 14 April 22-26 – Our last assignment is THE ESSAY.


Week 15 April 29 – May 3 The ESSAY: Pars. 1-6 are due in the drop box before 11:59 PM Friday May 3. The Essay is penalized 10 points even if it is less than a minute late. The drop box for the Essay will close and lock permanently two hours after the due date. The Essay cannot be submitted to the drop box after 2:00 AM May 4.


Late Work – Must be in the drop box no later than 11:59 PM Friday May 3. The late penalty is 10 points out of 100. Even if D2L says an assignment is only late by a minute or less, it is still late.


Students with disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees reasonable accommodation. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

A POWERPOINT must have these items:


SLIDE 1: Title

SLIDE 2: Description Paragraph & image.

SLIDE 3: Description Paragraph & image.

SLIDE 4: Description Paragraph & image.

Feel free to gut the MODEL PowerPoint and supply your paragraphs and images. The images are abundantly available in GOOGLE (that’s where I found mine for the models).


In a PowerPoint, you need TWO description paragraphs for one work and ONE description paragraph for the other (you choose which): e.g., for PowerPoint 1, you might have two description paragraphs for BEOWULF and one description paragraph for MALORY—or vice versa; for PowerPoint 2, you might have two description paragraphs for MILTON and one for JULIAN OF NORWICH—or vice versa.


A DESCRIPTION paragraph (about 300 to 400 words) starts with a topic idea (one or two sentences) that say something about fate, destiny, or providence. The paragraph then uses dynamic descriptive details to capture a scenario or moment in the story and convey the character’s experience in the story (most of the paragraph is descriptive—five to seven sentences). Refine your topic idea (one or two sentences) as an insight in light of your description. Close with a relevant significant quote. There should only be ONE quote in a description paragraph—the one at the very end.


OPTION: Getting my input about your writing BEFORE it’s due in the drop box.

You can get my input about your work-in-progress. Post your description paragraph(s) to me by THREAD. I will reply with suggestions for improvement. Here are the steps for my input:


·        In CONTENT, click on the relevant Discussion Forum.

·        Next to the forum’s title is a drop-down arrow for VIEW TOPIC.

·        Click on that topic. You will see the textbox in to which you can directly type or copy and paste.

·        Do not use the attachment function—use the text box. I can only reply to what you put in the text box.


You can also get my input for paragraphs one, four, five, and six for the ESSAY. See the ESSAY discussion forum module in CONTENT. The criteria and format for the ESSAY are explained below (after the model description paragraphs).


REMEMBER: Getting my input is optional; it is NOT required. If you would like my input, please submit your paragraphs to me in timely fashion. Don’t wait until the day they are due in the drop box.


DUE DATE: In order for your work to COUNT and to be GRADED, it must be submitted to the drop box before the end of the due date. Getting my input is NOT the same thing as submitting your work for grade. Even if you got my input, you STILL need to submit your work to the drop box before 11:59 PM on the due date in order for it to count and be graded. I must be able to open the document. If it will not open, I will notify you by D2L email that you must submit something I can open to the drop box; it will be penalized as late.


LATE WORK: D2L will accept late work, but it will be marked for lateness. The penalty for late submission is 10 points out of 100—the penalty applies even if you are late by a minute or less. All late assignments must be in their drop box before 11:59 PM Friday May 3.




Please choose from these episodes (below) the scenario or moment you wish to describe in a description paragraph:


For BEOWULF: You may choose from the FIGHT WITH GRENDEL, the FIGHT WITH GRENDEL’S MOTHER, or THE FIGHT WITH THE DRAGON. The fight with the dragon concludes with the death of Beowulf. The fight with Grendel’s mother ends with King Hrothgar’s sermon against pride and his sadness when Beowulf must return to his own people.


IMPORTANT: An EPISODE is TOO MUCH to describe in its entirety. For a description paragraph, you are choosing a little slice from the episode—a moment.


Please do not try to cover TOO much. AVOID COMMENTARY. AVOID LONG SUMMARY AND LONG EXPLANATIONS. From a given episode, just concentrate on that moment—that scenario—you think you can describe with dynamic details.


You are painting your own original picture of a little section—NOT the whole episode or even close to the whole episode or adventure. You are looking at an action, or a specific series of actions, which you can break down into little snapshots and bring to life with excitement and verve all your own. What are some details that catch your imagination? Describe THOSE details.


Be CREATIVE. Give this moment your own INSPIRATION. You need to start with TOPIC IDEA (about fate, destiny, or providence). After your description (which is most of the paragraph), you come to your INSIGHT and close with a significant quote (this is the only quote in the paragraph). Include parenthetical line numbers or page. Think in terms of about 350 to 400 words. DESCRIBE something manageable and FEASIBLE.


For MALORY: You may choose from these episodes: Dame Elaine’s deception when she masqueraded as Queen Guinevere and fooled Lancelot into conceiving a child by her (the future Galahad); Lancelot’s madness when Queen Guinevere rejected him (he throws himself through a window into a thorny garden); Lancelot’s confession of his sin with Guinevere to the hermit monk; Lancelot’s adventures in pursuit of the Grail (he is not allowed to touch it or bring it back to Camelot), and Galahad’s finishing the Quest of the Grail in a far country where it is caught up to heaven; and finally the death of King Arthur at the hands of his own son Mordred (this episode begins with Mordred catching Lancelot and Guinevere in bed; Lancelot wounds Mordred but he gets away to report the incident to Arthur).


For MILTON: You may describe the episode of Satan, Sin, and Death at the doors of Hell. You may choose one of the three major episodes in the War in Heaven (book six) as told by Raphael the angel to Adam: i.e., the confrontation between Michael and Satan, the invention of cannons, and the Son’s use of the Father’s angel chariot (also known as the Ezekiel chariot) to chase Satan and the rebel angels out of heaven. You can also choose any scenario from the episodes featuring Adam and Eve: e.g., Satan gazing for the first time on Adam and Eve, the creation of Eve as told by Adam to Raphael, the dream of Eve (inspired by Satan), or the temptation of Eve (including her sharing the fruit with Adam).


For JULIAN: You may use the episode when Christ puts something about the size of a hazelnut in Julian’s palm and asks her to describe what she feels. You may use the episodes when blood flows from the crown of thorns. There is even an interesting moment under the sea. You may use anything from the Ch. 51: The Parable of the Servant and the Lord. You may also use Julian’s explanation of Christ giving birth (Chs.58-61), so to speak, after the labor pains of his suffering on the cross (a mother’s love is surest, nearest, and readiest—Ch. 60). For Julian, description is a special challenge. You have to give flesh, blood, and action to her concepts. You have to show what she means. No matter the scene you choose, your topic idea is providence (the foreseeing wisdom of God) as “homely loving” and the motherhood of Christ.


An OUTLINE of the DESCRIPTION paragraph:


TOPIC IDEA: For BEOWULF say something about FATE; for MALORY say something about DESTINY; for MILTON or JULIAN, you are saying something about PROVIDENCE (Eternal Providence in Milton; the foreseeing wisdom of God in Julian). Just one or two sentences would be fine.


DESCRIPTION: Avoid summary. Avoid commentary. Avoid explanation. Instead, focus on a key moment or scenario that you can depict and bring alive with dynamic details. Immerse us in the action. Make us see and hear what you see and hear with your imagination. Make your own movie scene. Description should be uniquely and dynamically your own work—creative and original throughout. We are looking for FIVE to SEVEN sentences.


INSIGHT returns to the topic idea and refines it in light of the description. One or two sentences—end on a colon:


QUOTE a complete thought word-for-word from the story; this quote pertains to the scenario you are describing.




Do not succumb to temptation by using AI or something you found on the internet. A document which relies on AI or borrows from sources I have not approved (any source other than our required books) is a “0” (an F). Please think of ME (your instructor) as your AI. In CONTENT, click on the relevant DISCUSSION FORUM; then click on the arrow beside the forum title; then click on VIEW TOPIC; type or copy-and-paste your paragraph into the text box and post to me (don’t use the attachment function—I cannot directly reply to it). I will the catch errors of whatever I find in the text box. I will fix punctuation. I can make your paragraph better with subtle, surgical changes in phrasing and/or word choice. If you misunderstood or overlooked something important, I will tell you.


You then use my edited version of your paragraph(s) for any final changes you still need to make. Then put the final version of your paragraph(s) in the PowerPoint or the Essay that you then submit to the drop box to be graded (even if I have edited your paragraph, you still need to submit the assignment on time to the drop box before the end of the due date).


Getting my input on your work is strictly OPTIONAL. It is not required. You may not need my help. If you prefer to do everything the night before or even the day it is due, you shouldn’t send me anything for input. Plenty of people do well in the course without my input beforehand.



NOTE For your own paragraphs, do not use the scenario or quote from our model paragraphs.


For Beowulf:

[TOPIC IDEA ABOUT FATE:] For Beowulf, fate is an outcome of God’s will. He is so convinced that God is instrumental in fate that he strives to keep the fight equal. Fate then must tip the balance. Beowulf would accept his own death and defeat as long as that outcome is God’s verdict. [DESCRIPTION:] During the race with Breca, Beowulf finds himself pulled under repeatedly by sea creatures while Breca swims along beside him, inexplicably unmolested by the denizens of the deep. The creatures ignore Breca and take turns glomming onto Beowulf, grabbing hold of him like undersea wrestlers. He must peel their bodies away from him just long enough to bring his sword to bear. Each time he breaks the surface to catch his breath another creature pulls him down, entwining him all over again until he can grab hold of it, pull it away from his body, and then dispatch it with his blade. This type of one-on-one wrestling at close quarters has always characterized Beowulf’s fighting style, whether he was fending off trolls, giants, or sea serpents. Finally, after an exhausting night of hand-to-hand combat, Beowulf breaks through the waves for the last time, takes a breath, and remains free of antagonism from below. A bright morning sun shines down like God’s own beacon on his face. He rejoices in the warmth and bright light and a deep-down sense of God’s approval. The sun also makes a special point of gleaming and sparkling on the hides of his nighttime adversaries, whose scaly corpses now line the shore as if carefully placed there for human inspection. [INSIGHT:] Beowulf shares this experience with King Hrothgar in order to establish his credentials as someone called to a special purpose—his own special fate as long as Beowulf keeps the fight equal and one-on-one: [QUOTE:] “I hereby renounce,” Beowulf declares to King Hrothgar, “sword and the shelter of the broad shield, / the heavy war-board; hand-to-hand / is how it will be, a life-and-death / fight with the fiend. Whichever one death fells / must deem it a just judgment by God” (436b-41).


For Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur [The Death of Arthur]:

[TOPIC IDEA ABOUT DESTINY:] In Malory, destiny hardens the heart of Lancelot’s adversaries as part of their punishment for violating chivalry. Destiny will make sure that the foes of Lancelot will stubbornly persist in their evil ways because Lancelot’s inevitable victory is itself a warning to evildoers. [DESCRIPTION:] Running at each other with their lances, Tarquin and Lancelot knock each other off their horses. They are both momentarily dazed. Then they grab their swords and shields and grapple up close, at times breathing in each other’s face. The ground glistens and sparkles with flecks of their blood. The two are equals in skill and bravery. Finally, Tarquin steps back. He is not angry or frightened. He is deeply impressed, even a little in awe. He loves this knight like a brother. Part of him wants to throw down his sword, swear his allegiance, and ride with him against his enemies, whoever they might be. Tarquin had plowed his way through the Knights of the Round Table in quest of the knight who had killed his brother—that knight was none other than Lancelot. But now Tarquin questions himself. This fighter made him reconsider his quest. So long as this knight was not Lancelot, Tarquin was determined to make peace with him. Tarquin was ready to set free all the knights he had imprisoned if only this knight would be his brother in arms. Lancelot also took stock. He had absorbed as many wounds as Tarquin. The armor of both men had absorbed many slits and dents without either gaining the advantage. Lancelot noticed that Tarquin seemed of a new mind and reluctant to press the fight. So he took a risk and revealed his identity that he was indeed Lancelot. Tarquin seems anguished and deeply disappointed. He greets Lancelot cordially—but then the two men fly at each other like two bulls, once again the metal of their armor loudly clanging against each other and their swords piercing the seams over and over, bespattering the grass once again with their blood. [INSIGHT:] Destiny will settle for nothing less than the death of Tarquin. Destiny has no interest in reforming or redeeming Tarquin despite what seems to be his honest and sincere profession of love and loyalty, not to mention his heartfelt willingness to turn over a new leaf: [QUOTE:] “So be it,” Tarquin had promised, “that thou be not he, I will lightly accord with thee, and for thy love I will deliver all the prisoners I have, that is three score and four, so thou would tell me thy name. And thou and I will be fellows together, and never to fail thee while that I live” (57).

Also for Malory’s Le Morte Darthur:

[TOPIC IDEA FOR DESTINY:] Destiny is fulfilled when the Holy Grail appears to the knights of the round table. The feast of Pentecost celebrates the advent of the Holy Ghost, which literally comes true at Camelot, but the effect is dynamically fateful and may mean the dispersal of the knights to parts unknown, much to King Arthur’s distress. The Sankgreal is Christ’s bodily presence in a cup. It is the kingdom of God in the form of food and drink. [DESCRIPTION:] During the joust, young Galahad (son of Lancelot) knocked all the knights off their horses, except for his father and Percival. When requested by Queen Guinevere, Galahad opened his visor. Never did two people look more alike than Galahad and Lancelot, confirming they were father and son. She announced that Lancelot was eight degrees in lineage from Jesus Christ and Galahad was nine. As of the coming of Galahad, all prophecies could be fulfilled. When the knights took their seats, Galahad is out of his red-plated armor. He is now wearing a red silk robe and over it a cloak trimmed in white ermine. His seat at the round table is Siege Perilous, the seat predestined for the knight who would achieve the Sankgreal. Suddenly, the knights heard an explosive sound. The whole castle trembled as if it were about to fall. The Sankgreal was borne to the middle of the roundtable. No one could see who carried the cup. Over it was draped white samite, but this silken veil was lit up from inside by a light seven times brighter than the daytime sun. The knights turned to each other and marveled at how each of them—their faces—were also shining with light. Then the castle was filled with delightful scents including those that came from a banquet miraculously set before them. But the light went out; the cup was gone. The knights are beside themselves. King Arthur said everyone should just thank the Lord. But Gawain (Arthur’s nephew) vowed an oath to look for the Grail so that he might see it without any covering. To King Arthur’s immense vexation, all the knights made a similar vow, so overcome were they by the shining visitation of the Sankgreal. [INSIGHT:] Destiny is like a train on a track. It is so undeviating and so relentless that it can be overwhelming, even destructive: [QUOTE:] “So in the midst of the blast entered a sunbeam, more clearer by seven times than ever they saw day, and all they were alighted the grace of the Holy Ghost” (120).


For Milton’s Paradise Lost:

[TOPIC IDEA FOR PROVIDENCE:] In Milton, eternal providence insures that Satan never changes his ways. Satan must persevere in his arrogance and rebellion even at his lowest ebb. [DESCRIPTION:] Satan and his fallen legions stir to consciousness only to discover they are floating in a lake of fire at the bottom of the abyss, an infernal quarry from which God takes the raw material of his creation. Nothing makes sense here. The flames of the lake are dark and incapable of light. Nevertheless, Satan can perceive shadows and shapes. The lake seethes with burning sulfur. Storms rise up and swirl through the waves. Satan strains his eyes and makes out his chief lieutenant languishing near him where the two apparently fell together. Beëlzebub marvels that he feels his age-old angelic strength despite the agony inflicted by the fiery current. He gloomily wonders what God may have in store for the rebel angels. What service would God require here at the bottom of uncreated void? Satan seizes the moment to rally his lieutenant’s spirit. He shows his lieutenant his admittedly very powerful arm—an arm of invincible strength, harder, denser than that of any other angel. This arm, Satan declares, is a token, a sign of God’s terror—God’s fear of the rebel angels. This arm, insists Satan, brandishing its muscle before the eyes of his lieutenant, made God defend his throne in heaven. This arm, Satan says proudly, intimidated the most powerful force in the universe, God himself. Satan warms to his subject, inspired (and perhaps deluded) by his own speech. He finds his footing and stands. He pushes towards shore, his chest cutting through the liquid ore like the prow of a ship. Presently, at full height Satan casts a colossal shadow over Beëlzebub. When he turns back towards the lake, Satan’s chin juts forward like a mountain cliff or the balcony of a tower. He stretches his hand toward the awe-struck Beëlzebub. [INSIGHT:] Providence binds Satan to his course. Providence also binds us to the decision of Adam and Eve. Like Satan, we cannot resist testing our boundaries and challenging the Creator for supremacy in the universe: [QUOTE:] “All is not lost:” Satan declares, “th’ unconquerable will / And study of revenge, immortal hate / And courage never to submit or yield— / And what is else not to be overcome? / That glory never shall His wrath or might / Extort from me: to bow and sue for grace / With suppliant knee and deify His pow’r / Who from the terror of this arm so late / Doubted His empire!” (1.106-114).


Also for Milton’s Paradise Lost:

[TOPIC IDEA FOR PROVIDENCE:] Eternal providence brings down human pride. Once great civilizations are now ruins. They all owe their inspiration (in Milton’s view) to Pandemonium, the archetypal city of pride. [DESCRIPTION:] Satan stands like a massive tower on the shore of hell. He watches as his fellow angels assemble on the beach. Inspired by their leader’s dauntless courage, the angels apply their impressive skill-set to build an alternative kingdom. Ironically, Mulciber, the architect of God’s heavenly kingdom, also fell. He envisions a kingdom to rival even that of heaven. He succeeds in setting the standard for human kingdoms to follow. The angels mine the walls and hillsides of the abyss, plunging deep, scraping precious metals from the core of the abyss, and their machines pump roiling liquid fire from the lake of fire to fuel their crucibles and fill the molds of fabulous metal castings for the manufacture of pillars, roofs, and gates. Beautiful designs like fast-growing vines trace their way along the tops of every cornice. Then the whole confabulation starts to shudder, erupt, and heave upward in unison. Music accompanies the walls as they lift themselves from the foundations, fully fabricated. Today, of course, as tourists we walk along similar paths and streets of ancient cities. Now the gleaming marble pillars and battlements are shadows of their former glory. The ancient splendor retains just enough of its original shape for us to put it together in our mind’s eye, seeing again the towering walls, vast stairs, and broad plazas as well as the figures of a proud people like ourselves who once walked upon the stone pavements. [INSIGHT:] Providence allows these bastions of arrogance to have their moment of magnificence so that someday—cracked and broken and fallen in on themselves--they might testify of human vanity. Their role model and antecedent is Satan’s Pandemonium: [QUOTE:] “Anon out of the earth a fabric huge / Rose like an exhalation with the sound / Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet, / Built like a temple where pilasters round / Were set and Doric pillars overlaid / With golden architrave, nor did there want / Cornice or frieze with bossy sculptures grav’n. / The roof was fretted gold” (1.710-17).


For Julian of Norwich’s Showings [Revelations of Divine Love]:

[TOPIC IDEA ABOUT PROVIDENCE:] Julian argues that God’s providential model is homely love: that is, about the nitty gritty—little things that make up our everyday life but which were anticipated from the foundation of the cosmos. [DESCRIPTION:] We should not think of a far-off monarch looking down upon little ants. Instead, we should think of our bodies—our everyday activities--almost the way a nurse might attend us in the hospital or, even better, a nurse who visits us in our home as we live our lives. If we dribble milk down our chin while we eat our Cheerios, the nurse is there is to dab the milk with a napkin. She thinks nothing of invading our privacy because the nurse is embedded in everything we do. We wear the nurse like a garment. Her arms extend along our arms. Our head is under her chin. We always sit on her lap. We are like a toddler or even an infant that needs changing. We can cry and protest, but the nurse is already tending to our needs even before we know we are hurting or uncomfortable. Even better, think of a mother and the rambunctious toddler who tries to get out of his mother’s embrace. She is working on the smear of dirt on his cheek. She is kneeling beside him. Her hold on the child is secure. She uses her own saliva and fingers to rub the skin clean from the stain. She thinks nothing of this technique because she is no stranger to this child. She did not just come upon the child. This is her child. His skin is really her skin. [INSIGHT:] Providence is a homely love that pours down into the nooks and crannies of our flesh and blood existence. This foreseeing wisdom keeps pace with us in our everyday lives: [QUOTE:] “In this same tyme that I saw this sight of the head bleidyng, our good Lord shewed me a ghostly sight of his homely lovyng. I saw that he is to us all thing that is good and comfortable to our helpe. He is oure clothing that for love wrappeth us and wyndeth us, halseth us and all becloseth us, hangeth about us for tender love that he may never leeve us” (9; ch. 5).



The Essay (Pars. 1-6):

Introduction (paragraph one):

The introduction is the most important paragraph. It is a mini-essay. Explain fate, destiny, or providence in regard to the two works represented by your paragraphs two and three. Be sure to preview specific details of the scenes we will see in paragraphs two and three.

REMEMBER: You already wrote paragraphs TWO and THREE of the Essay. They are DESCRIPTION paragraphs from the PowerPoints. Paragraph two and paragraph three should represent DIFFERENT works. 

Paragraphs FOUR and FIVE are SUPPORTING paragraphs. You must choose your SUPPORTING SOURCE from the options I have given you (all of which come from our required critical editions). Your paragraph FOUR will support paragraph TWO; your paragraph FIVE will support paragraph THREE. 

Supporting Source options for paragraphs four and five (see NOTES below).

Paragraph FOUR discusses and quotes from just one supporting source--a scholarly essay--you have chosen from our critical editions: for BEOWULF choose from Marijane Osborn (two frames: biblical-cosmic and pagan heroic), Roberta Frank (synthesis of religious and pagan idealism), or Jane Chance (mock-sensual eroticism); for MALORY just Ramon Lull on chivalry in our book; for MILTON choose from five essays in our critical edition: i.e., C. S. Lewis on Satan or Eve, Kenneth Gross on Satan; Northrop Frye on reason; or Barbara Lewalksi on Adam and Eve.


Paragraph FIVE discusses and quotes from just one supporting source from our critical editions: for MALORY just Ramon Lull; for MILTON, choose from Lewis, Gross, Frye, or Lewalski; for JULIAN OF NORWICH just use Denise Baker's introduction (not the essays in the back—just Baker’s introduction).


Here is the format for a SUPPORTING paragraph (pars. 4 and 5):

According to [scholar's first and last name] in his/her essay ["Title of the scholar's essay in our book," --notice that the sentence is not over. It still needs its main clause: e.g., According to Jane Chance in her essay "The Structural Unity of Beowulf: The Problem of Grendel's Mother," ...


Main clause: After the comma of the "According to" intro clause, provide the main clause. This is the main point of the idea in the essay you chose as your supporting source:


According to Jane Chance in her essay "The Structural Unity of Beowulf: The Problem of Grendel's Mother," women in this story are supposed to be peace-weavers. [NOTE: You can use this sentence if you wish or some variation of it.]




According to Denise Baker in her introduction to Julian of Norwich's Showings, Julian's concept of the Motherhood of Christ is one way of understanding what she means by providential "homely" loving. [NOTE: You can use this sentence if you wish or some variation of it.]


Explanation: For SEVERAL sentences (in your own words) develop the idea from your supporting source. Explain in your words what you feel the scholar is trying to say. This discussion pertains to the significant quote that will close the paragraph. 


Significant Quote: Close paragraphs four and five with a relevant quote from the essay you have been discussing. Provide a parenthetical page at the end. A quote should be a complete thought by the scholar the backs up, or reinforces, your discussion. The last sentence prior to the quote should end on a colon: "Julian realizes that, despite the fact that she will inevitably sin and contrary to the church's insistence on the divine wrath incurred by sinners, God will continue to love her and ultimately transmute the wound into an honor" (xiv). [NOTE: You are welcome to use this quote for from Denise Baker in your own paragraph five if you wish.]


Paragraph 6 (conclusion):

Our conclusion is NOT a review of the Essay. Try to keep the conclusion to about five sentences. It is more like an epilogue or coda. It is a personal reflection. You get the last word on fate, destiny, or providence. Start with a NEW descriptive detail (not mentioned in paragraphs two or three) from ANY of our four works (something that made an impression on you but which you have not spoken of until now); describe for about three sentences. Then end with about two sentences of relevant thought--something about fate, destiny, or providence. There is no quoting.

WORKS CITED: Below you will see each supporting source formatted for the WORKS CITED (our bibliography). Don't use the NOTE--that's just explanatory. Use the bibliographic item itself for the two-item Works Cited, which comes at the very end of your paper. Center the title Works Cited just above the two sources. 

Your Works Cited only needs TWO sources. After your sixth paragraph, center the title Works Cited.  Use hanging indent for each of the two items: For hanging indent, type the item without indenting; then highlight with cursor; right click; then click on paragraph; then special; and then hanging.


If your paragraph two is a description paragraph for BEOWULF. You can choose from these three essays in our Norton critical edition for supporting paragraph FOUR: 

Osborn, Marijane. "The Great Feud: Scriptural History and Strife in Beowulf." Beowulf: A Verse Translation, second Norton Critical Edition, translated by Seamus Heaney, edited by Daniel Donoghue, Norton, 2019, pp. 139-53.

NOTE: Students tend to favor Osborn over the other two essays for Beowulf. According to Osborn, the poem has TWO points of view: the Cosmic point of view (the biblical "great feud" between God and Satan) and the heroic point of view (pagan Germanic/Scandinavian model of achieving glory in this world). See pp. 140 and 142 for good quotes. Osborn explains the two perspectives further on pp. 150-52. Osborn is saying the characters INSIDE the story do not know what the poet and the poem's audience know: that Beowulf and his contemporaries are part of a cosmic battle between Good and Evil based on biblical motifs. Fate in the biblical sense is COSMIC. Fate in the heroic sense merely determines outcomes of battles. Notice that Beowulf and Hrothgar are alert to something more than ordinary fate; they sense that fate has something to do with God's will and the humility of the warrior (see p. 149 on Hrothgar's homily against pride)--not exactly pagan Germanic/Scandinavian concerns. But Beowulf and Hrothgar must rely on intuition, not knowledge. They cannot say "it's in the Bible" because their world is pre-conversion northern Europe. 

Chance, Jane. "The Structural Unity of Beowulf: The Problem of Grendel's Mother." Beowulf: A Verse Translation, second Norton Critical Edition, translated by Seamus Heaney, edited by Daniel Donoghue, Norton, 2019, pp. 153-68.

NOTE: Jane Chance observes that females in the poem are assigned the role of peace-weaving: that is, promoting good relationships, brotherhood, and loyalty among the men (see pp. 157-8). Beowulf's mother is quite the opposite. She seeks vengeance on behalf of her son, Grendel, whom Beowulf killed. Chance notices that the fight with Grendel's mother is vaguely erotic with Grendel's mother straddling Beowulf who is flat on his back: see esp. pp. 158-64. This mock-erotic scenario, according to Chance, drives home the monstrous, perverse nature of Grendel's mother who seems very much out of keeping with the usual gender model of male warriors as the avengers and women as peace-weavers. See especially "mock peace-weaver" and "mock-sensual embracing and grasping" on p. 161. Remember: the quote at the end must be more than a phrase--it must be a complete thought by the scholar. 

Frank, Roberta. "The Beowulf Poet's Sense of History." Beowulf: A Verse Translation, second Norton Critical Edition, translated by Seamus Heaney, edited by Daniel Donoghue, Norton, 2019, pp. 168-82. 

NOTE: Roberta Frank argues that the poem is a contradiction or paradox: Beowulf is a story of pagan characters who are monotheists, which of course is an "anachronism" (170)--meaning something that is historically out of time. Monotheism comes much later with Christian conversion of northern Europe. Actual Scandinavian/northern Germanic pagans believed in a diverse pantheon of gods and goddesses (Odin, Thor, etc.). The poet, however, does have a strong sense of the historical past. The anonymous poet (probably a monk) is careful not to give anyone in the story knowledge of the Bible. At the same time, our poet does elevate the value of humility (a much-preached about Christian virtue in post-conversion monasteries and convents in England and on the continent), which of course does not fit the pagan Germanic model, which is all about achieving fame and glory in this life. Oddly (for presumably pagan characters), Hrothgar and Beowulf seem concerned about God's will. Frank feels that the Beowulf-poet assigns righteousness to certain deeds or mindsets even if the characters are ignorant of the Bible. For good quotes, see pp. 169, 171, 176-181. 

If your paragraph TWO or THREE is a description paragraph for Malory's Le Morte Darthur, you need to use this source in our Broadview book:

Lull, Ramon. The Book of the Order of Chivalry. Le Morte Darthur: Selections, by Thomas Malory, Broadview, 2015, pp. 336-41.

NOTE: Lull makes the argument for chivalry as God's attempt to overcome the effects of sin. Therefore, the best knights are those who represent Christian virtues. Broadview features those passages from Lull that most CONTRADICT Lancelot's behavior: see pp. 337-38, 339 (bottom), and 341. Lancelot, while sincere and devoted to one woman, nevertheless falls considerably short of the ideal knight. Lancelot's adultery with Guinevere proves the undoing of the Knights of the Round Table. 

If your paragraph TWO or THREE is a description paragraph for Milton, here are our options from our Norton critical edition:

Frye, Northrop. "From Children of God and Nature." Paradise Lost, by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp. 458-65.

NOTE: See esp. pp. 458-59 and 463-64. Before the fall, our appetites were the lowest realm of our soul. Above the appetites was will. Above will was reason. Sin created a competing model: reason becomes the lowest (the weakest), above that comes the will, and then above all are the appetites (all our random desires)--both will and reason in this model are subordinated to appetite. We are now torn between the model that controls our appetites and the model that features the appetites in control. When we are thinking correctly, reason presides and our appetites are held in check--think of a quiet, serene sea. When our reason and will serve our appetites, our appetites have become our lusts. This type of preoccupation creates anxiety and distress--think of a restless, seething storm of passion. 

Gross, Kenneth. "From Satan and the Romantic Satan: A Notebook." Paradise Lost, by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp. 420-24.

NOTE: See esp. pp. 421-22. For Gross, Milton's Satan is the modern self and the modern mind. Milton's Satan thinks the way we do. The very idea of modern selfhood--what it means to be a modern person--seems embodied by Milton's Satan. 

Lewalski, Barbara K. "From Higher Argument: Completing and Publishing Paradise Lost." Paradise Lost, by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp. 466-76.

NOTE: see esp. pp. 472-73. Adam is in a dilemma. If he insists that Eve not work by herself, then he is violating her freedom. If he lets her go her own way, she may be susceptible to temptation--and that indeed turns out to be the case. Lewalski feels that Adam should not have agreed to Eve's plan to work separately in the garden. He was too inclined to see her decisions as the ultimate wisdom (see p. 471). 

Lewis, C. S. "The Fall." Paradise Lost, by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp. 453-55.

NOTE: Lewis is very hard on Eve. He concludes that there is something sinister--even murderous--about her decision finally to share the fruit with Adam (see esp. 453).

Lewis, C. S. "From Satan." Paradise Lost, by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp. 401-07.

NOTE: Here is a great source on Milton's Satan. Lewis makes the point that the Miltonic Satan has no rational basis for rebelling against God. Lucifer retained all his glory, power, and authority among angels--except that the Son was suddenly placed above him. God made the Son his equal--his heir--with authority over all creation. Lucifer seems upset because he was not named to that position--that equality with God the Father. Satan is a contradictory figure (much like modern people of course). He objects to hierarchy because he was passed over. But he does believe in hierarchy if he himself is at the top. Good quotes may be found on p. 401 (bottom) and 402 (top), p. 403 (bottom), and p. 405 (middle and below), and the middle of p. 406.

If your paragraph THREE featured a description paragraph for Julian's SHOWINGS, then you need to use the introduction by Denise Baker in our Norton critical edition:

Baker, Denise N. Introduction. The Showings of Julian of Norwich, edited by Denise N. Baker, Norton, 2006, pp. ix-xix.

NOTE: Baker explains Julian's desire for three "wounds": meaning a deeper compassion (for Christ's sufferings on the cross), deeper contrition (regret for her sins), and deeper longing for God (love for God) pp. xi-xii. She also desired a sickness that would take her to the brink of death. She gets her wish! Baker talks about Julian and the problem of sin on pp. xiii-xiv; the radical Julian is Baker's topic starting on p. xiv (bottom) and continuing through p. xvi; the motherhood of Christ and his ministry to our lower nature--our sensuality--is Baker's topic pp. xvi-xvii. 

The ESSAY requires a two-item Works Cited. You may copy and paste from below:


Works Cited


Note: For hanging indent, type the item without indenting, highlight with cursor, right click, click on paragraph, then special, and then hanging.


Baker, Denise N. Introduction. The Showings of Julian of Norwich, edited by Denise N. Baker, Norton, 2006, pp. ix-xix.


Chance, Jane. “The Structural Unity of Beowulf: The Problem of Grendel’s Mother.” Beowulf: A Verse Translation, 2nd Norton Critical Edition, translated by Seamus Heaney, edited by Daniel Donoghue. Norton, 2019, pp. 153-68.


Frank, Roberta. “The Beowulf Poet’s Sense of History.” Beowulf: A Verse Translation, 2nd Norton Critical Edition, translated by Seamus Heaney, edited by Daniel Donoghue. Norton, 2019, pp.168-82.


Frye, Northrop. “From Children of God and Nature.” Paradise Lost by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp. 458-65.


Gross, Kenneth. “From Satan and the Romantic Satan: A Notebook.” Paradise Lost by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp.420-24.


Lewalski, Barbara K. “From Higher Argument: Completing and Publishing Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp. 466-76.


Lewis, C. S. “The Fall.” Paradise Lost by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp.453-55.


Lewis, C. S. "From Satan." Paradise Lost by John Milton, edited by Gordon Teskey, Norton, 2005, pp. 401-07.


Lull, Ramon. The Book of the Order of Chivalry. Le Morte Darthur: Selections, by Thomas Malory. Broadview, 2015, pp. 336-41.


Osborn, Marijane. “The Great Feud: Scriptural History and Strife in Beowulf.” Beowulf: A Verse Translation, 2nd Norton Critical Edition, translated by Seamus Heaney, edited by Daniel Donoghue. Norton, 2019, pp. 39-53.

GRADING: PowerPoint 1 and 2 are each worth 30 percent of the semester grade; the Essay is worth 40 percent.

Grade values are as follows: 90-100 (A), 80-83 (B), 70-79 (C), 60-69 (D), and below 60 is F.


The final calculated grade in D2L is the actual semester grade. It is NOT rounded up: e.g., an 89.9 is a B (not an A); a 79.9 is a C (not a B); a 69.9 is a D (not a C); 59.9 is an F (not a D). The same is true for assignment grades—PowerPoints 1, 2, and the Essay—they are not rounded up.

ATTENDANCE: Attendance is by login history in D2L. You need to visit our D2L modules in CONTENT our first two days in order to be counted present in our course.

Late Work – Must be in the drop box no later than 11:59 PM Friday May 3. The late penalty is 10 points out of 100. Even if D2L says an assignment is only late by a minute or less, it is still late.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

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