ENG 176: Alternate Worlds (Vengeance)

Dr. Patricia DeMarco
Tues. & Thurs. 1:10-2:30 in Sturges 009

"O what a brilliant day it is for vengeance! -- Aeschylus, ancient Greek playwright

Primary Texts:
Homer, The Iliad, ed. Bernard Knox, trans. Robert Fagles (Penguin Classics 1998) isbn 978-0140275360

Euripedes, Medea, trans. Robin Robertson (Free Press, 2008) isbn 978-1-4165-9225-9

Malory, Morte D'Arthur, ed. Helen Cooper (Oxford World Classics, 2008) isbn 978-0199537341

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, ed. Robert S. Miola (Norton Critical Edition, 2011) isbn 978-0-393-92958-4

William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, ed. Jonathon Bate (Arden/Routledge 1995) isbn 978-1-903-43 605 9

* please buy these editions only; print texts are preferable since electronics may not be used during class *

Reading Schedule

Jan 12



  • Malory, Sir Lancelot & Queen Guenivere, 403-67


Homer, The Iliad, Bks 1


Screening, Godfather (Coppola director)


                     Iliad, Bks 2-9 (speed 5&7)


Malory, Death of Arthur, 468-527    


                     Iliad, Bks 10-11 (speed 10)




                     Iliad, Bks 12-16-18 (speed 13-15)


Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Acts I & II            


                     Iliad, Bk 19



Feb   02

                     Iliad, Bks 20--21 (speed 20)

Apr 05

                       Titus Andronicus, Acts III & IV


                  Iliad, Bks 22- 24




Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I


                   Titus Andronicus, Act V


                     Hamlet, Act II





                   Hamlet, Act III

                   Hamlet, Act IV



Euripedes, Medea



                   Hamlet, Act V




Screening, Kill Bill   (Quentin Tarantino director)

final project due

Mar 01

Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur, pp. 3-57

 Saturday April 30th   Final Exam


project proposal due


Course Work:

will consist of definitions (literary, cultural and historical terms), character id.'s, interpretation of plot events, & close textual analysis of quoted passages. The final exam will have a 5th section, a cumulative essay. Your midterm exam will be Thursday March 25th; the final is set for Saturday April 30th.

Each class participant will be engaged in a written project, either a traditional essay (7-9 pages) on your choice of a modern ‘vengeance’ narrative or a creative piece in which you construct a pilot for a t.v. show centered on vengeance. For the pilot, you'll describe in detail your show's setting, characters, backstory, and key plot lines (7-9 pages). Whichever project you choose, your goal will be to demonstrate the understanding you've gained of the social rules and functions of vengeance we've studied this semester. While you will, thus, build on concepts introduced in class, you will also need to do independent research to learn more about your particular era/genre/text/vengeance theme. Guidelines will be forthcoming.

In order to help you all in developing this project, I would like you all to turn in your “pitch” (your idea for the project) and an annotated bibliography on March 3rd. I will arrange to be available for extra office hours on 3/3 & 3/4 to discuss your plans. Note: Meeting to discuss your project will be optional; handing in the project proposal/ annotated bibliography is required, and your timeliness here will be factored into your grade. Your final project is due 4/28 on which day you’ll give a 5 minute summary of your project to class. Those signed up for the writing option will turn in a draft (no later than April 19) and receive feedback for revision. The due date for the revised final project is 4/28.

Coursework & Evaluation:
Midterm (25%), Final (30%), Vengeance Project (25%), and Class Participation (20% including reading quizzes). It probably goes without saying that in order to be an effective participant, you must attend class regularly. If you miss more than two classes (other than for hospitalization, a court date, a religious obligation, or school-excused event) each subsequent unexcused absence will result in a 4% deduction of your participation grade.