The Caribbean experience has provided the context for a rich and varied literature which has earned a crucial place in the global family of literature in English. The CAPE Literatures in English Syllabus aims to develop an understanding of the nature and function of literature and the methods of literary study. It seeks to encourage critical reading, interpretation, evaluation, and an appreciation of and informed personal response to literature. On completion of the syllabus, students should understand, and be able to use the vocabulary of literary criticism and develop informed, sensitive, and balanced responses to the complexity of human nature as portrayed in literary works. It also seeks to assist in molding the ideal Caribbean person. Such a person displays a high level of self-esteem, lives in harmony with the environment, values human life, and takes pride in our cultural heritage and diversity.
The Literatures in the English syllabus comprises two units, each containing three Modules corresponding to the three literary genres: Drama, Poetry, and Prose Fiction.
Each Unit incorporates the subject core which comprises the knowledge and understanding derived from a range of readings; concepts and skills in literary study, and related assessment objectives. The core comprises four texts drawn from a range of historical periods between 1370 and the present day. All prescribed core texts are works originally written in English. The core requires students to study, at least, the following:
(i) one play by Shakespeare;
(ii) one work of Caribbean literature;
(iii) one work of poetry;
(iv) one work of prose fiction.
Each Unit requires a study of a minimum of four texts.