Great Hatreds in Literature

112 TUTOR: John Byrom

What motivates Iago in Shakespeare's "Othello”? Why did the Capulets hate the Montagues? From Heathcliff to Miss Havisham, Scrooge to Jack in "Lord of the Flies” it is clear that hatred makes for great literature. This course will review some of the bewildering causes and effects of consuming resentments, feuds and revenges in famous plays, novels and poems. So come and find out whether you agree with Lord Byron that "hatred is by far the longest pleasure - Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure”.

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£295.00
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Course Notes

Welcome to a course on extracts from the literature of hatred - and I hope that you will find it both interesting and fun. In roughly chronological order we'll look at The Bible, a Jacobean tragedy, and Shakespeare, who studied hatred deeply in "The Merchant of Venice”, "Othello”and "Romeo and Juliet”. Swift's "Gulliver's Travels” is a very enjoyable but surprisingly nasty novel and for moral dilemma you can't beat Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein”. Robert Browning was fascinated by hatred, as in "My Last Duchess” or "The Laboratory”. Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights” covers personal and sexual hatred, while Ibsen's "A Public Enemy” seems amazingly up to date in terms local, political and mob hatred - and problems with the public water supply.

Special emphasis will be placed on "Othello”, "Gulliver's Travels”, especially books 2 and 4, and "A Public Enemy”. Happily, I can supply copies of most of the books covered, but if you could bring copies of The Bible, "Wuthering Heights” (any edition) and the Penguin edition of "Ghosts and Other Plays” tr. Peter Watts, that would be helpful. I have checked, and copies can be obtained at bargain second hand prices online from Abe books or Amazon.

For homework it would be fantastic if you could skim through "Gulliver's Travels” and "A Public Enemy”. A week that could be sobering but fun and the same time, rain mixed with sunshine.

Course Tutor

John Byrom

About John

John Byrom is now retired but taught in a number of institutions in his career. One of them was Marlborough College where he was a housemaster and Head of the English Department for a time. He left Marlborough for the colder climes of Aberdeen University and then Norway, returning to Scotland to teach in Aberdeen and Perthshire, where he now lives in the shadow of the Highlands. At present he spends a lot of his time reading Scandinavian language with his cats on his knees and looking out at the weather. There is a lot of it.

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