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Ch 4: 17th and 18th Century English Literature Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The 17th and 18th Century English Literature chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about the key authors and works of this period in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the 17th and 18th Century English Literature chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Overview of 17th-Century and 18th-Century Literature: Periods, Religion and TheaterOverview of Renaissance, Restoration and Neoclassicist literature; religious significance of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and characteristics of Restoration comedy
Tuesday John Milton: Life and PoetryBiography of John Milton, key poems and summary of Paradise Lost
WednesdayAlexander Pope: Life and WorkBiography of Alexander Pope, major essays and poems and mock heroics of the The Rape of the Lock
ThursdayDaniel Defoe: Life and Major Fiction Childhood and politics of Daniel Defoe; early essays and poems and themes of Robinson Crusoe
FridayAnn Radcliffe, Samuel Richardson and Jonathan Swift Gothic novels of Ann Radcliffe, epistolary work of Samuel Richardson and satire of Jonathan Swift

12 Lessons in Chapter 4: 17th and 18th Century English Literature Lesson Plans
Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

1. Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

A lot can happen in 200 years, as you'll see on our lesson that introduces you to British literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. Go from Shakespeare to the invention of the novel to the introduction of a prominent dictionary in our video below!

John Bunyan and Pilgrim's Progress

2. John Bunyan and Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim's Progress is a Christian allegory by John Bunyan. It was published in 1678 and is a highly influential work of religious text in the English language. Follow along as you learn about some of the most memorable characters from this novel.

Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

3. Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

English poet, essayist and political figure John Milton ranks right up there with William Shakespeare in a list of literary greats. Check out this lesson for an overview of Milton's life and most important works.

Milton's Paradise Lost: Summary, Theme, and Quotes

4. Milton's Paradise Lost: Summary, Theme, and Quotes

John Milton's 1667 epic poem 'Paradise Lost' is often considered one of the greatest works in the English language. Watch this lesson to learn about the text and its complicated themes.

Introduction to Alexander Pope: Biography, Essays and Poems

5. Introduction to Alexander Pope: Biography, Essays and Poems

Alexander Pope is one of the most quoted writers in the English language, which means you've probably heard his stuff before - you just don't know it yet. Watch this lesson for an overview of Pope's life and key works!

The Rape of the Lock: Pope's Mock Heroic Poetry

6. The Rape of the Lock: Pope's Mock Heroic Poetry

Alexander Pope is one of the premiere satirists in the English language, and The Rape of the Lock is his crowning achievement. Here, Pope writes about an incredibly trivial event as though it's a war involving gods and epic heroes. Watch our lesson for more details on this classic!

Restoration Comedy: Theatre of the 1700s

7. Restoration Comedy: Theatre of the 1700s

Despite their name, Restoration comedies have nothing to do with fixing up a theater. Rather, these were shockingly explicit works that were created after almost two decades of live performances being outlawed in England. Watch our video lesson to learn about this surprising and hilarious time in English theatrical history.

Introduction to Daniel Defoe: Biography and Major Works

8. Introduction to Daniel Defoe: Biography and Major Works

Castaways, pirates, spies and political prisoners. Some of it is fiction and some of it is the author's real life. In this lesson, you'll learn more about Daniel Defoe, one of England's most prolific and exciting authors.

Robinson Crusoe: Summary and Themes

9. Robinson Crusoe: Summary and Themes

In this lesson, we'll explore Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe' while examining themes present in the work. You may also learn some handy skills if you ever find yourself shipwrecked and having to survive on an island for 28 years.

Jonathan Swift and Satire: Examples and Analysis

10. Jonathan Swift and Satire: Examples and Analysis

When it comes to English-language satire, few authors can top the legendary Jonathan Swift. Watch this lesson to learn about his two most important works, ~'A Modest Proposal~' and ~'Gulliver's Travels~'.

Samuel Richardson: Biography, Pamela and the Epistolary Novel

11. Samuel Richardson: Biography, Pamela and the Epistolary Novel

Samuel Richardson was the first writer to produce a true bestseller in the modern sense. Watch our lesson to learn about 'Pamela,' his groundbreaking epistolary novel.

Ann Radcliffe and Gothic Literature

12. Ann Radcliffe and Gothic Literature

Meet the mysterious Ann Radcliffe, a pioneering author who helped create the genre we know today as Gothic literature. As you learn more about her works and style, we'll also look at what constitutes a Gothic novel.

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