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Ch 15: 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.

18 Lessons in Chapter 15: 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 writing that goes beyond borders to touch readers worldwide. This lesson will define world literature and give five examples of books that have had a lasting influence.

The Iliad: Greek Epic

2. The Iliad: Greek Epic

This lecture traces the history of Greek epics. It then examines the central themes of 'The Iliad': Xenia, Achilles' wrath, and his quest for immortality. The plot of 'The Iliad' is summarized and attention is drawn to themes from the Sumerian tradition.

The Odyssey: Greek Epic

3. The Odyssey: Greek Epic

This lecture provides a rough outline of the exploits of Odysseus in Homer's epic poem ''The Odyssey''. You'll learn plot details about this epic poem, in addition to hearing about how this important tale relates to Greek culture and literary works throughout history.

The Aeneid by Virgil

4. The Aeneid by Virgil

This lesson explores Virgil's 'Aeneid'. It consists of a brief plot synopsis. We stop along the way to look at a few important scenes and offer analysis where necessary.

Introduction to Chaucer: Middle English and the Canterbury Tales

5. 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

6. 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.

Introduction to Charles Dickens: Works, Style, and Influence

7. 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.

Jane Austen: Biography and Major Novels

8. 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.

Introduction to Alfred Lord Tennyson: Life and Major Poetic Works

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

He's a Poet Laureate, a master wordsmith and the originator of quotes you probably think came from Shakespeare. Check out our lesson on Alfred, Lord Tennyson, possibly the most important English poet of the Victorian era!

Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

10. 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 George Eliot: Life and Major Works

11. Introduction to George Eliot: Life and Major Works

Mary Ann Evans, aka George Eliot, is one of the premiere writers of Victorian England. Watch this video lesson to see how she combined her interests in realism and rural life into an epic output of novels.

Introduction to James Joyce: Life and Evolution of Style

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

In this lesson, we'll get familiar with James Joyce's life and works. We'll trace how his biography influences his major novels and how his style changes over time.

Introduction to Virginia Woolf: Life and Works

13. Introduction to Virginia Woolf: Life and Works

This lesson introduces Virginia Woolf's life and works. We'll cover her involvement with the Bloomsbury Group and the evolution of her experimental style across works like Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and the Waves.

Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style

14. Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style

American author Ernest Hemingway used the experiences from his rich and colorful life to inform his novels and short stories. Learn about how life and major works.

William Faulkner: Biography, Books, and Style

15. William Faulkner: Biography, Books, and Style

William Faulkner towers above American literature, particularly American literature of the South. In this lesson, we'll explore his life and review his major works and style.

Kate Chopin: Biography, Works, and Style

16. Kate Chopin: Biography, Works, and Style

In this lesson, we will learn about Kate Chopin, a Southern regionalist writer. First, we will consider how her life created a framework for stories that reflect early feminist values in a very traditional world, then we will look at her two most famous works, 'The Story of an Hour' and 'The Awakening.'

Emily Dickinson: Poems and Poetry Analysis

17. Emily Dickinson: Poems and Poetry Analysis

Emily Dickinson was a well-known poet of the mid-1800s whose numerous works have stood the test of time. But what in the world did her poems really mean? In this video, we'll explore one of her most recognized pieces and analyze its meaning and purpose.

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

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

In this lesson, we will learn about Mark Twain's life, his most acclaimed writings and his place as a realist and regionalist writer in this country's literary history.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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