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Ch 14: Prominent Authors & Major Works

About This Chapter

This set of online lessons will introduce you to the lives and major literary works of over 15 prominent authors from around the world. Topics include Greek epics, novels, plays and poems.

Prominent Authors and Their Major Works - Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of ancient, American and European authors and their seminal literary works. It opens with an introduction to the major authors found in world literature, after which, you'll learn about The Aeneid, a Latin epic poem written by Virgil. The lesson also includes a discussion of Homer's Greek epic poems, The Iliad and the The Odyssey.

As you progress through the chapter, you'll be introduced to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and learn about Middle English. The instructor will also discuss the life and works of William Shakespeare, as well as the writing style and influence of Charles Dickens. Additional topics include the life and major poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson, John Milton and Emily Dickinson. At the end of the presentation, you should be familiar with the life stories, major works and styles of the following authors:

  • Jane Austen
  • George Eliot
  • James Joyce
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • William Faulkner
  • Kate Chopin
  • Mark Twain (including his style as a regionalist writer)

This online presentation on prominent authors and their major literary works includes a video tutorial by a knowledgeable educator or professional, as well as a lesson transcript. You can also use the video tags to revisit major points of the lesson - without having to re-watch the entire presentation. Additional features include self-assessment quizzes that allow you to test your own knowledge of these fascinating writers.

17 Lessons in Chapter 14: Prominent Authors & Major Works
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
World Literature: Major Authors & Works

1. World Literature: Major Authors & Works

World literature is defined as works of literature that transcend borders and are shared vastly around the world. In this lesson, examine some famous works that are considered world literature, such as Don Quixote, the Odyssey, War and Peace, and more.

The Iliad: Greek Epic

2. The Iliad: Greek Epic

The Iliad is a Greek epic poem written by Homer and contains 15,000 lines of verse. Discover the concept of Xenia, learn about the characters of Paris, Helen, Achilles, Agamemnon, Patroclus, and Hector, and explore the themes of the Iliad.

The Odyssey: Greek Epic

3. The Odyssey: Greek Epic

'The Odyssey' is a Greek epic poem by Homer. Explore the plot of this poem and its characters including Odysseus, and consider how this poem relates to Greek culture and literary works throughout history.

The Aeneid by Virgil

4. The Aeneid by Virgil

Virgil was a Roman poet whose poem, ''The Aeneid,'' continues to be renowned centuries after it was published. Discover the literary nuances of the poem, its purpose in outlining a new epic for a new age, and its depiction of Rome's glorious destiny. Meet the poem's dynamic cast of characters, including the hero Aeneas, Dido Queen of Carthage, wrathful Juno, and omnipotent Jupiter while traveling across the Mediterranean and through the Underworld.

Introduction to Chaucer: Middle English and the Canterbury Tales

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

It is often said that Shakespeare was the father of English literature in the middle ages, but there was another figure called Geoffrey Chaucer who could also be considered to be just as significant. Learn more about Chaucer's works, including 'The Canterbury Tales,' and understand his influence on English literature in the middle ages.

Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

6. Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

William Shakespeare was a renowned English playwright, actor, and poet who composed several masterpieces of literature that continue to impact society. However, scholars know surprisingly little about his life. Learn what we do know about the life of William Shakespeare and the type of literature that he composed, and read a summary of his significant works.

Introduction to Charles Dickens: Works, Style, and Influence

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

Hailing from Victorian England, Charles Dickens made many contributions to classic literature and is arguably one of the world's greatest authors. Learn about Dickens' writing style and explore some of his better known novels. Recognize how Dickens' work has influenced literature and society.

Jane Austen: Biography and Major Novels

8. Jane Austen: Biography and Major Novels

Jane Austen was a 19th-century writer who became recognized for her relatable and original plot in romantic comedy novels, which were fresh and new for the time. Learn more about Austen's life through her biography and follow her work to see how she created major novels, including 'Pride and Prejudice,' 'Mansfield Park,' and 'Emma,' among others.

Introduction to Alfred Lord Tennyson: Life and Major Poetic Works

9. Introduction to Alfred Lord Tennyson: Life and Major Poetic Works

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was given the title of Poet Laureate by British Queen Victoria, and many scholars regard him as the most renowned poet from the Victorian era. Learn about Tennyson's life and explore his major poetic works, including 'In Memoriam' and 'The Charge of the Light Brigade.'

Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

10. Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

John Milton was a political figure and essayist who is also regarded as one of England's finest poets. Learn about Milton's life, including his political beliefs, and explore his involvement in Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth. Review some of Milton's major poems, such as 'Paradise Lost,' and analyze Milton's writing style.

Introduction to George Eliot: Life and Major Works

11. Introduction to George Eliot: Life and Major Works

Mary Ann Evans was an English novelist during the Victorian era who often wrote under the pen name George Eliot. Many of her novels were set in rural settings and contained elements of realism. Learn about the early life of Mary Ann Evans, common themes of her novels, and three of her most famous works.

Introduction to James Joyce: Life and Evolution of Style

12. Introduction to James Joyce: Life and Evolution of Style

James Joyce was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century Modernist movement. Explore an introduction to Joyce's life and who he was, discover the evolution of his style, and survey his most important works.

Introduction to Virginia Woolf: Life and Works

13. Introduction to Virginia Woolf: Life and Works

This lesson introduces the work of feminist writer and publisher Virginia Woolf, who gains fame in 1922 with Jacob's Room. The book marks the beginning of an experimental writing style for Woolf, creating a series of famous novels exploring the use of the narrative.

Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style

14. Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style

Ernest Hemingway's personal experiences deeply resonated in most of his works and had effects on his writing style. Learn about Hemingway's biography, including his early life, life abroad, and the short stories he wrote in his later years.

William Faulkner: Biography, Books, and Style

15. William Faulkner: Biography, Books, and Style

William Faulkner is one of the most celebrated southern novelists and Modernist writers of the 20th century. Explore a biography of Faulkner's life and discover his literary style in some of his most famous books, including The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying.

Kate Chopin: Biography, Works, and Style

16. Kate Chopin: Biography, Works, and Style

Kate Chopin was a Southern regionalist writer. Explore her biography, works, and style, and learn about the plot of her notable works and how her writing was significant in terms of Southern and feminist literature.

Mark Twain: Biography, Works, and Style as a Regionalist Writer

17. Mark Twain: Biography, Works, and Style as a Regionalist Writer

American author and humorist, Mark Twain, is widely regarded as one of the greatest American novelists. Discover Twain's life, his use of literary Regionalism, and some of his most significant works, 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' and the 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.'

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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