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E5- World Literature English 5 - Book
E5- World Literature English 5 - Book

E5- World Literature English 5

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World Literature (English 5) is a one year, college-preparatory literature and composition course, and is the fifth volume of the Excellence in Literature curriculum for grades 8-12. Now in an expanded and updated fourth edition!

In World Literature, you will study:

  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • Antigone by Sophocles
  • The Aeneid by Virgil
  • Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  • Russian Literature Selections from Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Chekhov, and others
  • Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Out of Africa and “Babette’s Feast” by Isak Dinesen

Softcover; 8.5 x 11"; 188 pages


This fourth edition of the best-selling World Literature (English 5) from Excellence in Literature features additional learning helps, a new pacing chart for each module, and updated context links and resources. It replaces ISBN 9781623411831. 

What does World Literature cover?

World Literature is a college-preparatory literature and composition course. Focus works, including novels, short stories, poems, and drama, have been selected for literary quality, and for their place in the historical development of the literature of Western Civilization. Context readings provide background information about the author, the historical period, and the literary and artistic context of the focus work.

Students will get acquainted with literary masterpieces by authors from Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as Spain, France, Germany, Russia, and Scandinavia. They will hone literary analysis skills through structured writing assignments including essays, approach papers, and other types of writing.


By the end of the World Literature course, students will:

—Possess a broad knowledge of the history and development of major works of Western Civilization.

—Have specific understanding of selected representative texts by major authors studied.

—Have a general understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of the works.

—Be able to analyze literary texts and present thoughtfully developed ideas in writing.

—Demonstrate competence in essay organization, style, and mechanics.

What does World Literature offer?

It is self-directed: Like all the volumes of the Excellence in Literature curriculum, World Literature is written mostly to the student. The book begins by introducing the purpose and focus of the curriculum, then go on to provide information that will be useful as students work through the modules, including chapters on How to Read a Book and How to Write an Essay, as well as Discerning Worldview through Literary Periods. Online context resource links — articles, art, music, etc.— are kept updated at the EIL site.

Formats and Models: This chapter provides detailed instructions for each type of paper, along with a student-written model so parents and students can see exactly what is expected.

Honors: In the listing below, the highlighted book is the focus text, and the honors book is optional additional reading for students who want to earn an honors grade or prepare for a CLEP. A brief chapter in each book provides instructions for the additional writing that will round out the honors grade.

Following the nine modules that outline readings and a week-by-week lesson plan for each of the classic works being studied, you will find reference resources, including instructions for evaluation, reproducible rubric and assignment sheets, and more. You can see an annotated listing of each of the introductory and reference chapters at the "What is included in Excellence in Literature" post. Each book below is linked to edition I prefer at Amazon. These are affiliate links, of course — that means I get a few cents from each book purchase, but it doesn't change your cost at all.

"Students completing these courses should be miles ahead of most of their high school contemporaries in their ability to read and analyze literature at a sophisticated level. 

The challenging writing assignments also promise to develop student skills in composition to a high level."

From a detailed review by Cathy Duffy

Homer's' Odyssey
E5- World Literature English 5

Module 1: The Odyssey by Homer

Honors: The Iliad by Homer

Sophocles' Antigone
E5- World Literature English 5

Module 2: Antigone by Sophocles

The Burial at Thebes: A Verson of Sophocles’ Antigone by Seamus Heaney

Honors: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (included in the same volume as Antigone)

Virgil's Aeneid
E5- World Literature English 5

Module 3: The Aeneid by Virgil

Honors: Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans by Plutarch

Dante's Divine Comedy
E5- World Literature English 5

Module 4: Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante

Honors: Paradiso and/or Purgatorio by Dante

OR Confessions by Augustine of Hippo

Cervantes' Don Quixote
E5- World Literature English 5

Module 5: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Honors: The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Victor Hugo's Les Miserables
E5- World Literature English 5

Module 6: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Honors: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

 OR Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

19th Century Russian Reader
E5- World Literature English 5

Module 7: The Portable Nineteenth Century Russian Reader edited by George Gibian

Honors: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Goethe's Faust
E5- World Literature English 5

Module 8: Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Honors: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (if you didn’t read it in English II) AND The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

OR Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

Dinesen's Out of Africa
E5- World Literature English 5Module 9: Out of Africa and “Babette’s Feast” by Isak Dinesen

Honors: Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton OR

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis


Visit my blog to read about how I chose the literature for Excellence in Literature. This link will open in a new tab, so you don't have to worry about losing your place here.

Here are links to each of the Excellence in Literature study guides.

Introduction to Literature (English 1) 
Literature and Composition (English 2)
American Literature (English 3)
British Literature (English 4)
World Literature (English 5)
The Complete Curriculum: Literature and Writing for Grades 8-12
Handbook for Writers