This is a class on popular representations of the devil, on devilish behavior, ugliness, and evil in its myriad literary manifestations. Poems, plays, essays, and paintings throughout the ages have attempted to render the malignant force the universe seems possessed of in words: these attempts have produced some of our very greatest literature. This is not a class on the occult, as such, nor on religious history. Rather, we aim to confront some masterworks of western literary and visual representation that are themselves concerned with the nefarious and otherworldly.
We'll measure our responses through writing, research, and editorial projects that both satisfy the university's (W) requirement, AND count for one of the 3 pre-1900 courses required for an English major.