Beyond Literary Landscapes—Revenge

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and outlining various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and can serve as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.


This week, we focus on the literary theme of revenge.  In particular, this type of tale “may depict the trials a character must endure in order to achieve their vengeance—or, explore the human cost and moral dilemmas around pursuing vengeance in the first place.”


Some well-known novels related to the literary theme of revenge include Alexander Dumas’s The Count of Monte Christo, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.

Other examples include Carrie by Stephen King.


These novels are set in France, Italy, Denmark, and England’s Yorkshire Moors.


These particular novels take place in the 15th, and 19th centuries.


These works may be of interest to AU learners who would like to delve deeper into the age-old literary theme of revenge, including how this drive affects several well-known literary characters psychologically, and the toll that it takes on their mental health.


AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to revenge are available in a variety of disciplines, including one’s that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with an AU counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in learning more about this topic may enroll in ENGL 395: The Nineteenth-Century English Novel, a six-credit, senior-level course, which “introduces the student to some of the major English novels of the nineteenth century.”  (Please note that ENGL 211: Prose Forms and ENGL 212: Poetry and Plays are required as prerequisites).

Students may also be interested in ENGL 324: Shakespeare I, a three-credit, senior level course, which serves as “an introduction to the age of Shakespeare and his plays.  It will begin with an introduction to the following topics: a brief biography of Shakespeare; a crash course in the origins of Western theatre and the evolution of Shakespearean drama; an introduction to Shakespeare’s political and cultural milieu; a survey of certain mysteries and critical questions about Shakespeare; and an overview of Shakespeare’s English.”  (Students should note that this course also requires several prerequisites prior to enrollment, including ENGL 211: Prose Forms and ENGL 212: Poetry and Plays, completion of ENGL 325: Shakespeare II, or course coordinator approval).  Happy reading!

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