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Ch 10: SAT Subject Test Literature: Authors & Works from English Literature

About This Chapter

Study major English authors and literary works to prep for the SAT Literature Subject Test. This chapter offers over 15 lessons and quizzes to teach and test your knowledge on questions you may be asked on the test.

SAT Subject Test Literature: Authors and Works from English Literature - Chapter Summary

Enhance your understanding of different English literary works across several historical time periods. The chapter's lessons cover authors and texts that can be found on the actual SAT subject test. During your lessons, you'll learn about the following topics:

  • Old and Middle English literature
  • Shakespeare's plays and sonnets
  • John Milton's life and poems
  • Alexander Pope's biography, essays and poems
  • The Bronte Sisters and their works
  • Jane Austen's life and major books
  • Lord Byron's biography and poems
  • Charles Dickens' style and works
  • George Bernard Shaw's life and plays
  • T.S. Eliot's background and works

Lessons in the chapter include biographies of authors, summaries of their works and analyses of major themes and styles. Each lesson is broken down into engaging and concise video lessons that can prepare you for the SAT subject exam. You can test your knowledge of the material presented through self-assessment quizzes at the end of each lesson.

SAT Subject Test Literature: Authors and Works from English Literature Objectives

The SAT literature subject test is a college-entry exam that aims to determine your ability to close read and analyze literary works from different genres, regions and time periods. About 40-50% of the questions on the exam are focused on English literature written by British authors. The objectives of these preparatory lessons include:

  • Interpreting major English poems, essays and books
  • Understanding character development, styles and themes contained in major English works
  • Recognizing the important influences of English writers
  • Examining the historical backgrounds of many important English works

The SAT literature subject test consists of 6-8 passages of text, which are followed by a series of questions. The entire exam is multiple choice and consists of 60 total questions, which must be completed in one hour. The test is worth 200-800 points, depending on your performance.

16 Lessons in Chapter 10: SAT Subject Test Literature: Authors & Works from English Literature
Beowulf: Story, Characters, and Old English

1. Beowulf: Story, Characters, and Old English

In this lesson, we'll take a look at the Old English epic, Beowulf. We'll explore what happens, how it's written and why it has such a lasting legacy.

Introduction to Chaucer: Middle English and the Canterbury Tales

2. Introduction to Chaucer: Middle English and the Canterbury Tales

In this lesson, we'll introduce medieval writer Geoffrey Chaucer. We'll take a look at his life, his most famous works, including 'The Canterbury Tales,' and we'll spend some time learning how to read Middle English.

Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

3. Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

This video provides a crash course introduction to William Shakespeare's life, plays, and poetry. From 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' to 'The Tempest', we'll give you a timeline of his works and quick descriptions of what you need to know to identify them.

Shakespeare's Sonnets: Reading and Interpreting the Major Poems

4. Shakespeare's Sonnets: Reading and Interpreting the Major Poems

In this video we'll learn about Shakespeare's sonnets, which contain some of his most famous poetry. Shakespeare addresses both a Fair Youth, speculated to be a young earl and patron, and a Dark Lady, whom he describes in frank and unromantic terms. We'll discuss the meter and rhyme scheme of the typical Shakespearean sonnet, as well as the structure of the overall work.

Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

5. 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.

Introduction to Alexander Pope: Biography, Essays and Poems

6. 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!

Emily and Charlotte Bronte: Sisters and Authors

7. Emily and Charlotte Bronte: Sisters and Authors

Long before JK Rowling dreamed up Fred and George Weasley, Charlotte and Elizabeth Bronte accomplished impressive things as siblings. Their family history is a sad one, though, and their feelings of loss are evident in their most famous novels, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

Jane Eyre: Summary, Characters and Analysis

8. Jane Eyre: Summary, Characters and Analysis

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, was first published in 1847 under Bronte's pseudonym, Currier Bell. It's about a girl named - not surprisingly - Jane Eyre, and it's a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story that follows Jane from childhood through motherhood. Many elements of Jane's life are similar to events in Charlotte Bronte's life. Because the work features a strong-willed and intelligent woman, it's often considered to be an early feminist text.

Jane Austen: Biography and Major Novels

9. Jane Austen: Biography and Major Novels

When you hear the name Jane Austen, you probably think about long dresses, stuffy tea parties, and British accents - unless you don't know who she is. In that case, you really need to watch this video about the writer's life and works.

Pride and Prejudice: Plot and Character Analysis

10. Pride and Prejudice: Plot and Character Analysis

In this lesson, we'll go over the quintessential romantic comedy, Pride and Prejudice. We'll take a look at all of the factors conspiring to keep Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy apart as well as read some of Jane Austen's sparkling prose.

Lord Byron: Poems and Biography

11. Lord Byron: Poems and Biography

Lord Byron was once called 'mad, bad and dangerous to know.' In this lesson, you'll learn about this poet who is one of English Romanticism's most celebrated and prolific figures.

John Keats: Poems, Biography and Quotes

12. John Keats: Poems, Biography and Quotes

Lots of poets only write for a few years, get discouraged by terrible reviews and never amount to much. And then there's John Keats. Despite a short life with an abbreviated literary career and ridicule from prominent critics, Keats' work would come to symbolize the Romantic poetry movement. Watch this lesson to learn more.

Introduction to Charles Dickens: Works, Style, and Influence

13. Introduction to Charles Dickens: Works, Style, and Influence

Ebenezer Scrooge. Oliver Twist. Miss Havisham. David Copperfield. These are among literature's most fascinating figures, and they were all created by the same author. Watch this lesson to learn more about one of the English language's greatest authors, Charles Dickens.

Introduction to George Bernard Shaw: Life and Major Plays

14. Introduction to George Bernard Shaw: Life and Major Plays

George Bernard Shaw is one of the most prolific and important playwrights in the last 150 years. Don't believe us? Watch this video to learn about his social activism, his important contribution to the world of education and, of course, his plays.

Introduction to T.S. Eliot: Author Background, Works, and Style

15. Introduction to T.S. Eliot: Author Background, Works, and Style

This video introduces T.S. Eliot and his major works. It outlines his early life and move to England, and traces his stylistic evolution over his most famous and significant poems.

John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism, Quotes and Theory

16. John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism, Quotes and Theory

Join us for this analysis of nineteenth century British philosopher John Stuart Mill, whose radical political and ethical ideas based in utilitarianism have had a profound effect in the final frontier and on our current political landscape.

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