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Ch 2: Overview of English Literature

About This Chapter

Explore examples of epic poetry, Gothic fiction, epistolary writing, neoclassical literature and more. These illustrated video lessons make it easy to supplement your current studies or examine an area of English literature that interests you.

Overview of English Literature Chapter Summary

This collection of lessons can help you take a closer look at works of poetry or prose characterizing significant periods in English literature. Areas of focus include:

  • Old English poetry
  • Neoclassical literature
  • Romantic poetry
  • The Gothic novel
  • Colonial literature
  • Poetic devices

Each of these lessons is taught by an experienced instructor and can be completed at your convenience. Use the short videos to explore an area of interest or supplement one of our full-length courses.

How to Use this Chapter

These lessons can enhance your understanding of the literary periods and genres discussed in your English class or covered on your exam. View them in whichever order you please, and take advantage of an instructional format featuring fun video lessons and quizzes that allow you to check your understanding of the material.

You might also view these supplemental lessons while taking one of our full-length English literature courses:

Check out these courses to learn more about English literature, and find out how you can use them to earn college credit.

9 Lessons in Chapter 2: Overview of English Literature
William Wordsworth's The Solitary Reaper: Summary & Analysis

1. William Wordsworth's The Solitary Reaper: Summary & Analysis

In this lesson you will learn what William Wordsworth's 1807 poem 'The Solitary Reaper' is about. Take a look at the summary and the analysis and then test yourself with a quiz.

William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation: Summary & Analysis

2. William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation: Summary & Analysis

In this lesson, we will learn about the work 'Of Plymouth Plantation' written by William Bradford. We will take a closer look at why the work was written, what it represents and where it is kept today for future generations to enjoy.

The Castle of Otranto: Summary & Analysis

3. The Castle of Otranto: Summary & Analysis

'The Castle of Otranto' is known as the very first Gothic novel, although it was published in 1764, long before the Romantic era. In this lesson, we will both summarize and analyze its fast-moving plot.

Neoclassical Literature: Definition, Characteristics & Movement

4. Neoclassical Literature: Definition, Characteristics & Movement

Neoclassical literature was written between 1660 and 1798. It was a time of both formality and artificiality. In this lesson, we will examine the characteristics and literature of this time period.

Poetic Devices: Definition, Types & Examples

5. Poetic Devices: Definition, Types & Examples

There are many types of poetic devices that can be used to create a powerful, memorable poem. In this lesson, we are going to learn about these devices and look at examples of how they are used. We will also discuss their purpose to understand the importance of using them effectively.

Metaphysical Poetry: Definition, Characteristics & Examples

6. Metaphysical Poetry: Definition, Characteristics & Examples

It's extremely intelligent and witty. It is deeply religious but is also sure to be ironic and cynical. Learn about metaphysical poetry and how it takes on the questions that can't be answered by science.

Grendel's Battle with Beowulf: Character & Summary

7. Grendel's Battle with Beowulf: Character & Summary

The battle between Grendel and Beowulf is one of the most famous battles in English literature. Furthermore, Grendel is considered to be one of the most mysterious and complex villains to appear in Western culture.

Byronic Hero: Definition, Characteristics & Examples

8. Byronic Hero: Definition, Characteristics & Examples

The literary archetype of the Byronic hero, first developed by the 19th-century English poet Lord Byron, is one of the most potent and relevant character archetypes in Western literature, art, and entertainment.

Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God by Edwards: Summary, Analysis & Metaphors

9. Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God by Edwards: Summary, Analysis & Metaphors

Jonathan Edwards's 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' is one of the most famous sermons ever preached. Read this lesson to find out more about its themes and metaphors.

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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the Supplemental English: Study Aid course

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