The English 12 course asks students to closely analyze world literature and consider how we humans define and interact with the unknown, the monstrous, and the heroic. In the epic poems The Odyssey, Beowulf, and The Inferno, in Shakespeare’s Tempest, in the satire of Swift, and in the rhetoric of World War II, students examine how the ideas of “heroic” and “monstrous” have been defined across cultures and time periods and how the treatment of the “other” can make monsters or heroes of us all.
Reading Frankenstein and works from those who experienced the imperialism of the British Empire, students explore the notion of inner monstrosity and consider how the dominant culture can be seen as monstrous in its ostensibly heroic goal of enlightening the world.
Throughout this course, students analyze a wide range of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. They build writing skills by composing analytical essays, persuasive essays, personal narratives, and research papers. In order to develop speaking and listening skills, students participate in discussions and prepare speeches. Overall, students gain an understanding of the way world literature represents the array of voices that contribute to our global identity.
Optional materials are available for this course. For more information, see the Course Materials List.