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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: Sex, Seduction and Sedition in Restoration Literature (ENLI11149)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEnglish Literature Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course aims to explore the presentations of seduction and sedition in the literature of the Restoration period in order to consider the ways in which ideas of sexuality were deployed for political ends, both domestic and national. Beginning with a series of readings of the Restoration state as a family structure, the course will go on to examine the ways that tensions within that idea were exposed by the literature of the period. Images of seduction in the literature of the period present not only a range of types of sexual relationship but also address political tensions and debates directly, especially with regard to the Exclusion Crisis, and also engage with philosophical and theological arguments about the nature of truth, politics, the state, and good and evil. Students will be asked to read some of the most influential literary writers of the period (including Dryden, Behn, Rochester, Milton and Vanbrugh) in the context of political theory, philosophy and conduct writing by such key thinkers as Hobbes, Filmer, Allestree, Locke and Astell, and to discuss topics such as libertinism, conscience, national identity, marriage, sexuality, debauchery and lust.

*This course is taught jointly with undergraduate students and consequently postgraduate places are limited
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The course will develop the students' knowledge of the dramatic literature of the period in question, with specific regard to a number of major genres and intellectual issues, in particular the issues sex, seduction and sedition, and the relationship between these three terms. It will enhance their ability to read critically and comparatively and to engage with an area of specialist research not otherwise available to students at Edinburgh.
Assessment Information
4000 Word Essay (100%)
Special Arrangements
PG Version
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Outline Syllabus:

Policing Desire: Sex and the Social Order
1 'His sceptre and his prick are of a length': Seduction and Sedition in Restoration Literature and Politics
Dryden, 'Astraea Redux', Hobbes, Leviathan and Filmer, Patriarcha (excerpts) and selected poems
2 Of woman's first disobedience...: Eve's Seduction
Milton, Paradise Lost, books 9 and 10; and Richard Allestree, The Ladies Calling (excepts)

Sex and Seduction: Libertinism
3 'We loved, and we loved, as long as we could': Wit, Comedy and Sex
Dryden, Marriage la Mode
4 'And love he loves, for he loves fucking much...': Celebrating Vice?
Libertine poems by Etherege, Rochester, Behn; Pepys, Diary (excerpts)

Seduction and the Politics of Sedition: Writing the Exclusion Crisis
5 Incest, Lust and Rebellion: Seduction as Sedition (1)
Behn, Love-Letters between a Noble-man and his Sister
6 'Made drunk with honour, and debauched with praise': Seduction as Sedition (2)
Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel
7 'Let's bugger one another now, by God': Rage, Invective and Political Violence
Dryden, The Medal, Settle, The Medal Reversed and Shadwell, The Medal of John Bayes

8 Essay Completion Week

Restoration Family Values: Lust Contained?
9 Courses of true love...: Love, Desire and Patriarchy
John Locke, 'Of Paternal Power', Mary Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (excerpts), and poems by Jane Barker, Katherine Philips, Lucy Hutchinson and John Dryden
10 'Vain amorous coxcombs everywhere are found': Staging Lust
Aphra Behn, The Feigned Courtesans and The Lucky Chance
11 Unhappily ever after: Performing Marriage
John Vanbrugh, The Provoked Wife
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Simon Malpas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3618
Course secretaryMiss Natalie Carthy
Tel: (0131 6)50 6536
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