About This Chapter
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- Have fallen behind in understanding the work of William Shakespeare or working with the summary and theme of Milton's Paradise Lost.
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How it works:
- Start at the beginning, or identify the topics that you need help with.
- Watch and learn from fun videos, reviewing as needed.
- Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
- Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
- Submit questions to one of our instructors for personalized support if you need extra help.
- Verify you're ready by completing the Examples of English Literary Analysis chapter exam.
Why it works:
- Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
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Students will review:
In this chapter, you'll learn the answers to questions including:
- What happens in Beowulf, the Old English epic?
- Who are some of the key characters in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales?
- How does fate influence life in Romeo and Juliet?
- What survival skills can readers learn in Robinson Crusoe?
- How has Mary Shelley's Frankenstein evolved as a film and literary figure?
- What happens in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights?
- What makes The Rime of the Ancient Mariner a Romantic poem?
- How does T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land stand out as a modernist work?
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.
2. The Canterbury Tales General Prologue: Style, Structure, and Characters
In this lesson, we'll go over the General Prologue to Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. We'll take a look at some of the most interesting pilgrims and establish the frame narrative for the rest of the work.
3. The Knight's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale: Two Approaches to Chivalric Romance
In this lesson, we'll outline some of the key features of the medieval genre of chivalric romance. Then we'll talk about two very different tales that are examples of this genre: The Knight's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale.
4. Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare's Famous Star-Crossed Lovers
Great tragedies resonate throughout time. In this lesson, we'll go over the role of fate in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. We'll explore the story of his star-crossed lovers and explain some of his most famous quotes.
5. Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play
In this lesson, we'll follow how ambition shapes the events of Shakespeare's Scottish play, 'Macbeth'. We'll explore the plot, characters and supernatural elements that are characteristic of this play.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: Literature vs. Film
FIRE BAD! That may be the depth of your experience with Frankenstein. But before he broke into pop culture, the character had a rich literary history. Watch our lesson to learn more!
9. Wuthering Heights: Plot Overview and Character Analysis
'Wuthering Heights' is Emily Bronte's only published novel, but if you're only going to publish one novel in your lifetime, this is a good one. Follow along as this lesson introduces you to the plot, characters and other aspects of this novel.
10. Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Summary and Analysis
What do you like in a great story? Zombies? Mystery at sea? Ghosts? Large birds? What if you could have them all? You can! In this lesson, we're going to explore the famed Romantic poem ''The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,'' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
11. Byron's Don Juan: Summary, Quotes and Analysis
When a complicated, fascinating writer like Lord Byron devotes a huge chunk of his life to a single, sprawling work, you're assured a product that's just like its author, except when it isn't. In this lesson, you'll learn about Lord Byron's epic masterpiece, 'Don Juan.'
12. A Tale of Two Cities: Dickens' Novel of the French Revolution
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In this video lesson, learn about A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens' classic novel about the French Revolution.
13. Dickens' Great Expectations: Plot, Characters, and Social Class
In 'Great Expectations,' young Pip has big dreams and lofty goals. All that's standing in his way is pretty much everyone he meets, as well as himself. Watch this lesson to learn more about this classic Charles Dickens novel.
14. Tennyson's Ulysses: A Victorian Take on Greece
'Ulysses' is a very popular poem by Victorian superstar Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Watch our lesson to learn all about this portrait of a hero... or is he a major jerk?
15. The Waste Land: Structure and Style Explained
As an introduction to T.S. Eliot's landmark poem, 'The Waste Land,' this lesson will outline some of the key Modernist features of the work. We'll address nonlinearity, irony and juxtaposition, voice, and allusions. Through taking a look at each of these features, we'll try to understand why 'The Waste Land' is as strange as it is important.
16. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Character & Epiphany
This lesson outlines the plot of Joyce's novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, while focusing on the development of protagonist Stephen Dedalus according to the expectations of the Bildungsroman genre. Additionally, we'll take a look at stylistic elements such as voice and epiphany.
17. Direct Characterization: Definition & Examples
In this lesson, you will learn how an author directly establishes characterization. Unlike a lot of other literary devices, direct characterization is fairly easy to spot. Check your understanding of the lesson with a short quiz at the end.
18. Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett: Synopsis & Analysis
Arnold Bennett's 'Anna of the Five Towns' is an early 20th-century commentary on the effect of work and industry on personal relationships. In Bennett's novel, this effect becomes devastating --ruining the relationships and lives of important characters.
19. Lamb to the Slaughter: Theme & Analysis
You might know Roald Dahl for his delightful children's stories, but 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is definitely not for the kids! Find out why in this lesson when we analyze this darkly comedic short story.
20. Mariana by Tennyson: Analysis & Overview
This lesson looks at the poem 'Mariana' by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Together we'll discuss the poem's background and meaning, learn about the basic structure of the lyrical narrative poem, explore Tennyson's use of imagery and symbolism, and finish the lesson with a quick quiz.
21. Marianne Moore: Biography, Poems & Poetry Analysis
Marianne Moore was a poet whose life had both ups -- like winning the Pulitzer Prize -- and downs -- like never really knowing her father. Read on to learn more about Ms. Moore.
22. My Lute, Awake! - Summary & Analysis
'My Lute, Awake!' is a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt. It relates the thoughts of a scorned suitor, bitter at his rejection. Read about the content and subtext of this example of the darker side of courtly love.
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Other chapters within the AP English Literature: Help and Review course
- AP English - Literary Analysis Intro: Help and Review
- AP English - Interpreting Literature: Help and Review
- Rhetorical Devices in AP English: Help and Review
- Types of Fiction
- Types of Nonfiction
- AP English - Types of Poetry: Help and Review
- AP English - Prose: Help and Review
- AP English - American Literary Periods and Movements: Help and Review
- AP English - Examples of American Literary Analysis: Help and Review
- AP English - English Literary Periods and Movements: Help and Review
- Grammar Review in AP English: Help and Review
- AP English - Essay Basics - Types of Essay: Help and Review
- Essay Writing Conventions for AP English: Help & Review
- Beginning the Writing Process in AP English: Help and Review
- Writing & Structuring an Essay in AP English: Help and Review
- Writing Revision and Skill Development in AP English: Help and Review
- Reading Comprehension for Test-Taking
- About the AP English Literature Test