Literature Reading List

Literature Reading List

Enrich your knowledge. Prepare for your comprehensive exam.

Narrative and Dramatic Literature

Homer, *The Odyssey

Aeschylus, Oresteia

Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

Euripides, The Bacchae, Hippolytus

Aristophanes, The Frogs, The Clouds

Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, The Canterbury Tales, (General Prologue, Knight's Tale, Miller's Tale, Wife of Bath's Tale, Merchant's Tale, Franklin's Tale, Parson's Tale)

Thomas More, Utopia

Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen (books 1 and 2)

William Shakespeare, *Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Henry IV & V, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure

John Milton, Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes

Alexander Pope, Essay on Man

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

William Wordsworth, The Prelude

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

* Indicates works on the IPS Core Reading List

Fiction: The Novel

Jane Austen, Emma

Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

George Eliot, Middlemarch

William Faulkner, Light in August

Henry Fielding, Tom Jones

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Henry James, The Ambassadors

James Joyce, Ulysses

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Laurence Stern, Tristram Shandy

William Thackery, Vanity Fair

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse


(You should know a significant body of the poetry of these poets, but these especially)

William Shakespeare, Sonnets 29, 30, 55, 65, 73, 94, 116, 129, 146

John Donne, "The Canonization," "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," "The Ecstasy," "The Good-Morrow," "The Sun Rising," "Air and Angels," "The Relique," "A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day," Holy Sonnets 10 and 14.

George Herbert, "The Altar," "Affliction," "Prayer (I)," "Jordan (I)," "Virtue," "The Pulley," "The Collar," "Easter Wings," "Love (III)"

John Milton, "Lycidas," "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity," "How Soon Hath Time," "When I Consider How My Light is Spent," "Methought I Saw My Late Espoused Saint"

William Blake, "Introduction" to Songs of Innocence, "Introduction" to Songs of Experience,"The Lamb," "The Tyger," "The Sick Rose," "The Garden of Love," "London," "Mock On, Mock On, Voltaire, Rousseau," "O Did Those Feet in Ancient Times"

William Wordsworth, "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey," "She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways," "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal," "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," "Micheal," "Composed upon Westminster Bridge," "Ode: On Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood," "The Solitary Reaper"

John Keats, "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," "La Belle Dame Sancs Merci," "Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode on Melancholy," "Ode to a Grecian Urn," "To Autumn"

Robert Browning, "My Last Duchess," "Fra Lippo Lippi," "Andrea del Sarto," "Two in the Campagna," "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came," "Caliban upon Setebos"

Emily Dickinson, "Safe in their Alabaster Chambers," "The Soul Selects Her Own Society," "After Great Pain a Formal Feeling Comes," "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died," "Because I Could not Stop for Death," "Further in Summer than the Birds," "Tell All the Truth but Tell it Slant," "As Imperceptible as Grief"

William Butler Yeats, "Easter 1916," "The Wild Swans at Coole," "The Second Coming," "Leda and the Swan," "Dialogue of Soul and Self," "Sailing to Byzantium," "Byzantium," "Among School Children," "Lapis Lazuli"

T.S. Eliot, "Preludes," "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "Gerontion," The Waste Land, "The Journey of the Magi," "Ash Wednesday"

Robert Frost, "Nothing Gold can Stay," "Mending Wall," "Birches," "After Apple-Picking," "The Road Not Taken," "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," "For Once, Then Something," "Desert Places," "Design," "Never Again Would Birds' Songs Be the Same," "Directive"

Wallace Stevens, "Sunday Morning," "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," "Anecdote of a Jar," "The Snow Man," The Idea of Order at Key West," "A Postcard from the Volcano," "Of Modern Poetry," "The World as Meditation," "To an Old Philosopher in Rome"

Literary Criticism


Aristotle, The Poetics

Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry

William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria (selections)

John Keats, Selected Letters

T.S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent"

Allen Tate, "The Man of Letters in the Modern World"

Wallace Stevens, "The Noble Rider and the Source of Words"

Derrida, "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences"