Unit Three: The English Renaissance
Lyric poems of Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne
A Play by Shakespeare
Epic poetry by Milton
1. Compare the societies in Britain during (a.) the Medieval Period, (b.) the Sixteenth Century in England and (c.) the Early Seventeenth Century in England (and find evidence related to the society in specific texts and passages in the assigned literature). Include religious, political, intellectual and social factors.
2. Consider the characteristics of Renaissance lyric poems, Renaissance drama, and the selected epic passages from Milton according to their genre and to influences of other literary forms on them.
3. Be able to suggest the implied meaning of a given passage, keeping the above factors in mind.
Readings for examinations and writing assignments:
1. "The Sixteenth Century (1485-1603), pp. 395-413; "The Early Seventeenth Century (1603-1660), pp. 1069-1079; and "Literary Modes of the Early Seventeenth Century," pp. 1652-1653.
2. Edmund Spenser, Sonnets 75 & 79, p. 737.
3. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18, p. 810; Sonnet 29, p. 811; Sonnet 73, p. 814; Sonnet 130, p. 820.
4. John Donne, "The Good Morrow," p. 1082; "The Flea," p. 1090; "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," p. 1093; "Death Be Not Proud . . ," p. 1116.
5. William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Lear, pp. 888-967.
6. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Books 1-4, pp. 1474-1548.
Other Recommended Readings:
1. Sonnets by Sidney and other sonnets by Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare.
2. The Faeirie Queen by Edmund Spenser.
3. The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.
4. Other poems by John Donne and poems by Sir Walter Raleigh.
1. Look up the characteristics of lyric poetry in a handbook to literature (some are available on the internet), and explain how Spenser's, Shakespeare's and Donne's poems fit those characteristics, being sure to quote some passages and explain them. Email your response to the instructor and your fellow students.
2. Look up the characteristics of drama and tragedy in a handbook to literature (some are available on the internet), and explain how King Lear fits those characteristics, being sure to quote some passages and explain them. Email your response to the instructor and your fellow students.
3. Using the characteristics of epics that you looked up in a handbook to literature in Unit 2, explain how Paradise Lost fits those characteristics, being sure to quote some passages and explain them. Email your response to the instructor and your fellow students.
4. What elements of the world and society of the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries are reflected in three of your assigned readings (your choice)?
5. Annotated bibliography:
a. Look through the authors listed in the course schedule.
b. Choose one and choose one work by that author found in your book.
c. Read the general information in your book and then begin searching for articles about that work for the purpose of finding out what issues are debated in the field in relation to that pieces of literature.
d. Begin an annotated bibliography in MLA style that lists some of the articles and summarizes them in terms of what they contribute to the academic debate about the literary work you have chosen to research.
e. Submit two items from your annotated bibliography so that the instructor can see whether you have picked a good piece and relevant articles. Search in GALILEO as well as on University sites. Do not use personal web pages or sites intended to summarize the works for high school and undergraduate students in your annotated bibliography.
f. (Eventually, you will be asked to focus your topic and write a short (5-8 pages) researched critical analysis essay on the literary work you have chosen.)