This course will focus on some of the major writers of the English Renaissance (1500 - 1660), seen in their cultural context.
The basic textbooks will be Volume I of The Norton Anthology of English Literature (6th edition) and Brother Anthony's Literature in English Society : Volume 2, The Renaissance (Sogang University Press, 1998). Reference should also be made to such books as:
Gary Waller, English Poetry of the 16th Century (Longman)
George Parfitt, English Poetry of the 17th Century (Longman)
Roger Pooley, English Prose of the Seventeenth Century 1590-1700 (Longman)
Graham Parry, The Seventeenth Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1603-1700.
Thomas N. Corns ed., The Cambridge Companion: Donne to Marvell
David Norbrook, Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance
Week 1: General Introduction. Wyatt & Surrey
Week 2: Early Elizabethan poetry. Spenser: Shepherd's Calendar. Epithalamium.
Week 3: Spenser: The Faerie Queene Book 1 (see online summary)
Week 4: More's Utopia (Norton Critical edition)
Week 5: Sidney: Astrophel and Stella. Defense of Poesy. Arcadia
Week 6: Elizabethan lyrics, Marlowe, Campion, Daniel and Drayton
Week 7: Shakespeare: Sonnets
Week 8: Donne: Secular poems
Week 9: Jonson: Epigrams and The Forest
Week 10: Donne: Religious poems
Week 11: George Herbert, Crashaw, Vaughan.
Week 12: The 'Sons of Ben' and 'Cavalier Poets'; Cowley, Marvell
Week 13: Milton's early works (before 1640)
Week 14: Milton: Paradise Lost
Week 16: Intellectual Prose: Bacon, Browne, Burton, Hobbes.
A number of students will prepare a 30-minute presentation each week
from week 4.
4. Renaissance and Reformation (European and British)
5. Petrarchism and Pastoralism (European and British)
6. The social contexts of Elizabethan poetry and music: daily life in Elizabethan England
7. The evolution of Shakespeare's reputation from 1616 until the present day
8. Evolving attitudes to women, to love, to life, to death in the 17th century
9. The role of the Court in Elizabethan and Jacobean literary production
10. From Calvinism to 'Anglicanism' and Non-conformity : the Church from Hooker to Wesley
11. The Puritan tradition. Major figures in European Catholicism in the Counter-Reformation
12. England during the Civil War and Commonwealth. Music in 17th-century Britian & Europe.
13. Milton's influence and reputation from his death until today
14. Political and social evolutions in Britain 1658 - 1714: how revolutionary?
16. Philosophy, science, literature and society in 17th-century France
Two full papers will be written: the first (due in Week 10) will be on a 16th-century topic. The second (due at the end of the semester) will be on a 17th-century topic.