Humanities 211-04
Western Humanities Tradition: Revolt against Authority
Helen Roulston
Department of English and Philosophy

FH 207
MWF 10:30
Office: FH7B 1O
Office Hours: MW 11:30-12:30
TTH 9:00-11:00, T 12:30-2:30
Office Phone: 809-4712
Humanities Website

II. Catalog Description: The Western Humanities Tradition (3). An exploration and analysis of major ideas and questions in the humanities, as these have been expressed in works from the ancient past to the modern world. A student cannot have credit for both this course and HON 251. Prerequisite: ENG 104 or 105 or equivalent.

III. Humanities Objectives:
             1. Engage in critical analysis of presented material,
             2. Demonstrate a familiarity with the world's historical, literary, philosophical, and artistic traditions
             3. Critically analyze a variety of literary and philosophical works;
             4. Communicate ideas effectively, and
             5. Demonstrate the ability to make informed ethical choices.

IV. Course Objectives:
             Students who successfully complete Humanities 211 will be able to
             1. demonstrate familiarity with a variety of significant works from the humanities as these engage transhistorical ideas and questions;
             2. express in writing how works in the humanities engage each other in addressing enduring ideas and questions;
             3. analyze how various texts express or challenge one or more enduring ideas within and across cultural-historical boundaries.
            The course as a whole will trace the development of the theme of revolting against authority: pro-con

V. Course Outline: The course readings are divided into three units:
            The Ancient World
            The Middle Period
            The Renaissance to the Modern Period.

VI. Instructional Activities: Class activities include discussion of readings and background lectures.

VII. Field, Clinical, and/or Laboratory Experiences: Films and forums are provided. Students are encouraged to use the world and the Internet as their laboratory as well.

VIII. Resources: Students may use computer labs to surf the Internet, which they must cite in their papers, which must be typed. Students are encouraged to communicate with the professor via e-mail about their papers and attendance.

IX. Grading Procedures: There will be 1 content-based exam, plus 2 typed papers, at least 750 words, on interpretive, analytic, or comparative topics.
        Extra papers, including major overhauls of poor essays, may be handed in for extra credit. All essays must be revised. Satisfactory minor revisions will get a check, more extensive revisions a check plus or double plus. Each paper and exam will be counted equally. This unit is 75% of the grade.
        Quizzes and optional extra-credit assignments, such as written evidence of attendance at previously approved university and community events, count a total of 10%. Each quiz and piece of written evidence will count 10 points towards the 10%. Alternatives to missed quizzes may be handed in provided the absences are excused and the professor approves.
        The final exam, both essay and objective, counts 15%.
        Essay grades are based on style, content, organization, spelling and grammatical accuracy, handling of any appropriate research material, as well as promptness. Papers late without excuse will be marked down one step of a grade (e.g., A to A-, B+, etc.) for each class period after the due date.
        A=90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, E=0-59
        Students must complete all the work to receive a passing grade in the course.

X. Attendance Policy: Regular class attendance is vital to academic success.
        The official Humanities absence policy will be enforced. The course grade will be lowered one-third of a letter grade for each unexcused absence over three. To avoid the grade penalty, students must offer plausible excuses, preferably authorized written ones, whenever they miss classes. All students must be aware that missing more than 25% of scheduled class sessions (10 classes) without excuse will result in automatic failure of the course.

XI. Academic Honesty Policy: Students are responsible for following the College of Humanistic Studies policy on academic integrity.
        "Cheating, plagiarism (submitting another person's material as one's own or doing work for another person which will receive academic credit) are all impermissible. This includes the use of unauthorized copying of examinations, assignments, reports or term papers, or the presentation of acknowledged material as if it were the students' own work. Disciplinary action may be taken beyond the academic discipline administered by the faculty member who teaches the course in which the cheating took place." Students are also responsible for the Academic Honesty policy statement in the latest Undergraduate Bulletin.

XII. Texts:
3-volume Bedford Anthology of World Literature
Ibsen, Henrik, A Doll's House
Moličre, Tartuffe
Shakespeare, William, Twelfth Night [Replacing The Tempest]
Stevenson, Robert Louis, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Voltaire, Candide
Some materials are on the Humanities Web Site. See link above.
Some materials related to the texts are on other sites. See links by these texts.

XIII. Prerequisites: English 104, 105, or the equivalents

XIV. STATEMENT OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Murray State University endorses the intent of all federal and state laws created to prohibit discrimination. Murray State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, veteran status, or disability in employment, admissions, or the provision of services and provides, upon request, reasonable accommodation including auxiliary aids and services necessary to afford individuals with disabilities equal access to participate in all programs and activities. For information regarding nondiscrimination policies contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, 270-809-3155.


        All performances are in Lovett. As in previous years, the cost is $5.00 with MSU ID and $10.00 for the general public. Tickets available from Shellie Barrow, Administrative Assistant I, Humanities and Fine Arts, in the Department of English, Office Location: 7A FH, Office Phone: 809-2670, Office Phone: 809-2670, beginning in mid-February, or people can buy tickets at the door. The full list of related lectures, workshops, films, etc. can be found at

        Students will receive double extra credit points (20) for each event they attend and write up.

Three performances of Twelfth Night:
Daytime: Wednesday and Thursday, March 6 & 7, 10 AM to 12:15 PM, Lovett Auditorium
Evening: Friday, March 8, 7-9:15 PM, Lovett Auditorium

One performance of John Webster's great tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi:
Evening: Thursday, March 7, 7-9:15 PM, Lovett Auditorium

Other Festival events of interest to students and faculty are as follows:

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 28-March 2:
-Cinema International Film: Coriolanus, with Ralph Fiennes; 7:30 PM, Curris Center Theater (free)

Monday, March 4:
-“Shakespeare Dance Party”: MSU Theater Department’s Daryl Phillipy conducts a workshop on Shakespeare’s metrics set to rock music (4-5 PM; MSU Dance Studio).

Tuesday, March 5:
“Shakespeare Flash Mob! Shakespearean Insult Battle,” featuring students from MSU’s Theater Department (prizes and event schedule distributed), Curris Center, Rocking Chair Lounge, Noon-1 PM.

Wednesday, March 6:
-3:30-4:30 PM: lecture on Duchess of Malfi by Dr. Frank Whigham, University of Texas at Austin (FH 208)
-5:00-6:00 PM: American Shakespeare Center Acting Workshop at Murray’s “Playhouse in the Park”

Thursday, March 7:
-3:30-4:30 PM: Gender and Diversity Studies Roundtable: “‘I am not that I play’: Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night,” led by MSU’s Dr. Josh Adair (3:30-4:30 PM, FH 208)

Friday, March 8:
-9 AM: ASC actors visit Murray Middle School for a workshop -3:30-4:30 PM ASC Stage Combat Workshop, FH 208 (featuring Murray Fencing Club and members of the Knight’s Squire Reenactment Group led by MSU’s Matthew Crider from the Theater Department)



M Jan 14 Introduction to the Course

W Jan 16 Introduction to the Ancient World (pp. 1.1-14) Introduction to Homer, Odyssey (Bk. 1) (pp. 1.277-85, 420-434)

F Jan 18 Homer, Odyssey (Bks. 5, 9, 10) (pp. 1.482-494, 529-560)

W Jan 23 Homer, Odyssey (Bks. 11, 12) (pp. 1.560-593)

F Jan 25 Homer, Odyssey (Bks. 19, 21-22) (pp. 1.687-704, 716-743)

M Jan 28 Sophocles, Oedipus Rex (pp. 1.891-897, 899-952)

W Jan 30 Sophocles, Antigone (pp. 1.952-998)

F Feb 1 Aristophanes, Lysistrata (pp. 1.1044-1048, 1049-1082)

M Feb 4 Sappho (pp. 1.791-793); “It’s No Use,” “Sleep, Darling,” “Don’t Ask Me What to Wear,” “Lament for a Maidenhead,” “He Is More than a Hero,” “You Know the Place: Then,” “I Have Not Had One Word from Her” (pp 1.794-798); Catallus (pp. 1.1164-1168); 2. “Sparrow, O, Sweet Sparrow,” 3. “Dress Now in Sorrow, O All,” 5. “Come, Lesbia, Let Us Live and Love,” 11. “Furious, Aurelius,” 51. “He Is Changed to a God,” 101. “Dear Brother, I Have Come” (pp. 1168-1174)

W Feb 6 Plato, Allegory of the Cave (pp. 1.1083-1088, 1111-1116)

F Feb 8 Plato, Apology and Phaedo (pp. 1.1089-1110)

M Feb 11 Aristotle, from Metaphysics and Poetics (pp. 1.1149-1155)

W Feb 13 Hebrew Texts (pp. 1.127-139): Genesis Excerpts (pp. 1.140-161)

F Feb 15 Bhagavad Gita (pp. 1.1488-1511); ESSAY 1 DUE

M Feb 18 Confucius, Analects Excerpts (pp. 1.1591-1600)

W Feb 20 Epicurus, "Letters to a Friend" (pp. 1.1633-1635)

F Feb 22 EXAM


M Feb 25 Introduction to the Middle Ages (pp. 2.2-14); New Testament: Sermon on the Mount (pp. 2.15-27; 1.35-44)

W Feb 27 The Thousand and One Nights Excerpts (pp. 2.435-467).

F Mar 1 The Art of Courtly Love Excerpts (pp. 2.611-627); Courtly Love Lyrics (pp. 2.628-635): Faraj, “Chastity” (pp. 2.646-647), Ha-Levi, “The Apple” (p. 2.252), Guillaume IX, “Now, When We See the Meadows Once Again” (pp. 2.658-669), De Ventadorn, “My Heart Is so Full of Joy” (pp. 2.661-663)

M Mar 4 Marie de France, “The Lay of Chevrefoil” (pp. 2.670-677); “Lanval” and “Bisclavret” "Lanval"; "Bisclavret"

W Mar 6 Dante, Inferno (pp. 2.678-686) Canto 1 (pp. 2.689-94), Cantos 3-5 (pp. 2.699-713), Cantos 11-13 (pp. 2.735-748); MIDTERM GRADES Due.

F Mar 8 Dante, Inferno Cantos 11-13 (pp. 2.735-748); Canto 34 (pp. 2.844-848)

M Mar 11 Boccaccio, The Decameron Excerpts (pp. 2.849-877)

W Mar 13 Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, "General Prologue" (pp. 2.878-904)

F Mar 15 Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, "Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale" (pp. 2.904-932)



M Mar 25 Introduction to Early Modern Period (pp. 3.1-16); Petrarch (pp. 3.67-71), Canzoniere Selected Poems: 1. “Oh, You in These Scattered Rhymes,” 3. “It Was the Very Day,” 148. “Not Tiber” (3.80-83); European Love Lyrics (pp. 3.85-90); Shakespeare, “Sonnets: 18. "Shall I Compare Thee?," 116. "Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds," 129. "Th'Expense of Spirit," 130. "My Mistress' Eyes" (pp. 3. 104-106); Donne, “The Good Morrow,” “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” “Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God” (pp. 3.107-113), Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress” (p. 3.115)

W Mar 27 Pico, On the Dignity of Man Excerpts (pp. 3.467-470); Machiavelli, The Prince Excerpts (pp. 3.120-139)

F Mar 29 Cervantes, Don Quixote, pt. 1, ch. 1 (pp. 3.257-266), pt. 1, ch. 8 (3.271-276), pt. 2, ch. 5 (pp. 3.304-308), pt.2, ch. 30 (pp. 3.320-323)

M Apr 1 Shakespeare, Twelfth Night [Replacing The Tempest] (Acts 1-2)

W Apr 3 Shakespeare, Twelfth Night [Replacing The Tempest] (Acts 3-5)

F Apr 5 Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier Excerpts (pp. 3.171-174)

M Apr 8 Milton, Paradise Lost (pp. 3.575-576); (Bk. 1) Excerpts (pp. 3.576-587)

W Apr 10 Milton, Paradise Lost (Bk. 9) (pp. 3.616-647)


F Apr 12 Moličre, Tartuffe; ESSAY 2 DUE

M Apr 15 “Challenging Orthodoxy” (pp. 3.661-665), Copernicus, On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies Excerpt (pp. 3.684-689); Galileo and Kepler, Correspondence Excerpts (pp. 3.690-694)

W Apr 17 Hobbes, Leviathan Excerpts (Chaps. 13, all; 29, up to “Nor does this happen in monarchy only,” continue with “Nor does this happen in monarchy only” up to “And as false doctrine,” continue with “Lastly, when in a war,” to the end); Locke, Second Treatise on Government Excerpts (Chaps. 2, pars. 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14; 3. pars. 17, 21; 4, pars. 22, 23; 19, pars. 222, 225, 227, 229, 240, 241-243); Jefferson, et al, Declaration of Independence
(Humanities Website)

F Apr 19 Voltaire, Candide, Chapters 1-18 (1-40)

M Apr 22 Voltaire, Candide, Chapters 19-30 (40-77)

W Apr 23 Ibsen, A Doll's House

F Apr 25 Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

M Apr 29 Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily"
Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily" Read by Louie Crew Emeritus Professor at Rutgers University
Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily" Read by Louie Crew Emeritus Professor at Rutgers University

Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"

W May 1 Glaspell,"A Jury of Her Peers"; Jackson, "The Lottery"

F May 5 Camus, "The Guest"; Kasaipwalova, "Betel Nut Juice Is Bad Magic for Airplanes" (Handout); Review

M-F May 7-10 Final Exams, Given During Regular Exam Times.