UTME SYLLABUS – LITERATURE IN ENGLISH

GENERAL OBJECTIVES
The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus in Literature in English is to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:

• stimulate and sustain their interest in Literature in English;
• create an awareness of the general principles of Literature and functions of language;
• appreciate literary works of all genres and across all cultures;
• apply the knowledge of Literature in English to the analysis of social, political and economic events in the society.

The syllabus is divided into five sections as given below:

SECTION A: DRAMA
SECTION B: PROSE
SECTION C: POETRY
SECTION D: GENERAL LITERARY PRINCIPLES
SECTION E: LITERARY APPRECIATION

DETAILED SYLLABUS

SECTION A: DRAMA

TOPICS/CONTENTS/NOTES OBJECTIVES
a. Types of Drama
i. Tragedy
ii. Comedy
iii. Tragicomedy
iv. Melodrama
v. Farce
vi. Opera etc.

b. Dramatic Techniques
i. Characterization
ii. Dialogue
iii. Flashback
iv. Mime
v. Costume
vi. Music/Dance
vii. Décor/scenery
viii. Acts/Scenes
ix. Soliloquy/aside
x. Figures of Speech etc.

c. Interpretation of the Prescribed Texts
i. Theme
ii. Plot
iii. Socio-political context
iv. Setting

Candidates should be able to:
i. identify the various types of drama;
ii. analyse the contents of the various types of drama;
iii. compare and contrast the features of different dramatic types;

iv. demonstrate adequate knowledge of dramatic techniques used in each prescribed text;

v. differentiate between styles of selected playwrights;

vi. determine the theme of any prescribed text;

vii. identify the plot of the play;

viii. apply the lessons of the play to everyday living;

ix. identify the spatial and temporal setting of the play.

 

SECTION B: PROSE

TOPICS/CONTENTS/NOTES OBJECTIVES
2. PROSE

a. Types:
i. Fiction
• Novel
• Novella/Novelette
• Short story

ii. Non-fiction
• Biography
• Autobiography
• Memoir

iii. Faction: combination of fact and fiction

b. Narrative Techniques/Devices:
i. Point of view
• Omniscient/Third Person
• First Person

ii. Characterisation
• Round, flat, foil, hero, antihero, etc.

iii. Language

c. Textual Analysis
i. Theme
ii. Plot
iii. Setting (Temporal/Spatial)
iv. Socio-political context

 

SECTION C: POETRY

TOPICS/CONTENTS/NOTES OBJECTIVES
3. POETRY

a. Types:
i. Sonnet
ii. Ode
iii. Lyrics
iv. Elegy
v. Ballad
vi. Panegyric
vii. Epic
viii. Blank Verse, etc.
b. Poetic devices
i. Structure
ii. Imagery
iii. Sound(Rhyme/Rhythm, repetition, pun, onomatopoeia, etc.)
iv. Diction
v. Persona

c. Appreciation
i. Thematic preoccupation
ii. Socio-political relevance
iii. Style.

Candidates should be able to:
i. identify different types of poetry;
ii. compare and contrast the features of different poetic types:
iii. determine the devices used by various poets;
iv. show how poetic devices are used for aesthetic effect in each poem;
v. deduce the poet’s preoccupation from the poem;
vi. appraise poetry as an art with moral values;
vii. apply the lessons from the poem to real life situations.

 

SECTION D: GENERAL LITERARY PRINCIPLES

TOPICS/CONTENTS/NOTES OBJECTIVES
4. GENERAL LITERARY PRINCIPLES

a. Literary terms:
foreshadowing, suspense, theatre, monologue, dialogue, soliloquy, symbolism, protagonist, antagonist, figures of speech, satire, stream of consciousness, etc., in addition to those listed above under the different genres.

b. Literary principles
i. Direct imitation in play;
ii. Versification in drama and poetry;
iii. Narration of people’s experiences
iv. Achievement of aesthetic value, etc.

c. Relationship between literary terms and principles.

Candidates should be able to:
i. identify literary terms in drama, prose and poetry;
ii. identify the general principles of Literature;
iii. differentiate between literary terms and principles;
iv. use literary terms appropriately.

 

SECTION E: LITERARY APPRECIATION

TOPICS/CONTENTS/NOTES OBJECTIVES
5. LITERARY APPRECIATION

Unseen passages/extracts from Drama, Prose and Poetry.

Candidates should be able to:
i. determine literary devices used in a given passage/extract;
ii. provide a meaningful interpretation of the given passage/extract;
iii. relate the extract to true life experiences.

 

A LIST OF SELECTED AFRICAN AND NON-AFRICAN PLAYS, NOVELS AND POEMS

Drama:
African:
1. Frank Ogodo Ogbeche: Harvest of Corruption

Non African:
1. William Shakespeare: Othello

Prose:
African:
i. Amma Darko: Faceless
ii. Bayo Adebowale: Lonely Days

Non African:
i. Richard Wright: Native Son

Poetry:
African:
i. Gbemisola Adeoti; Ambush
ii. Birago Diop: Vanity
iii. Gabriel Okara: Piano and Drums
iv. Gbanabam Hallowell: The Dining Table
v. Lenrie Peters: The Panic of Growing Older
vi. Kofi Awoonor: The Anvil and the Hammer

Non African:
i. Alfred L. Tennyson: Crossing the Bar
ii. George Herbert: The Pulley
iii. William Blake: The School Boy
iv. Thomas Gray: The Bard

RECOMMENDED TEXTS

1. ANTHOLOGIES
Gbemisola, A. (2005) Naked Soles, Ibadan: Kraft
Hayward, J. (ed.) (1968) The Penguin Book of English Verse, London Penguin
Johnson, R. et al (eds.) (1996) New Poetry from Africa, Ibadan: UP Plc
Kermode, F. et al (1964) Oxford Anthology of English Literature, Vol. II, London: OUP
Nwoga D. (ed.) (1967) West African Verse, London: Longman
Parker, E.W. (ed.) (1980) A Pageant of Longer Poems London: Longman
Senanu, K. E. and Vincent, T. (eds.) (1993) A Selection of African Poetry, Lagos: Longman
Soyinka, W. (ed.) (1987) Poems of Black Africa, Ibadan: Heinemann

2. CRITICAL TEXTS
Abrams, M. H. (1981) A Glossary of Literary Terms, (4th Edition) New York, Holt Rinehalt and Winston
Emeaba, O. E. (1982) A Dictionary of Literature, Aba: Inteks Press
Murphy, M. J. (1972) Understanding Unseen, An Introduction to English Poetry and English Novel for Overseas Students, George Allen and Unwin Ltd.
Jerry A. (2018) Sorters and Sortees Ibadan, Kraftgriots. Jerry A. (2018) Specks In Our Eyes Ibadan, Kraftgriots.

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