French And Italian | The French Renaissance
F413 | 2535 | MacPhail


This course surveys the literature and civilization of the French
Renaissance. We will begin with an introduction to the French
language in the 16th century by reviewing linguistic forms and
orthographic conventions and by assessing the cultural status of
French in relation to Latin, other European vernaculars, and the
regional dialects of France. For this segment we will read some
excerpts from Geoffroy Tory and Francois Rabelais. Then we will look
at the importance of books and printing in the French Renaissance with
a trip to view the collections of the Lilly Library. We will also
examine the role of Christian humanism in the early part of the
century in relation to Jacques Lefèvre d'Etaples' translation of the
Pauline epistles. Next we will study Marguerite de Navarre's
collection of short stories, l'Heptaméron. All students will do
an in-class presentation and a five page paper on a story or theme of
their choice from l'Heptaméron. Next we will survey the
Petrarchan tradition in French Renaissance lyric poetry, as
exemplified by Pierre de Ronsard's Amours, and each student
will do a presentation in class on a poem of his or her choice. We
will conclude the semester with a selection of essays by Michel de
Montaigne, which will be the subject of our final exam. Cross-listed
with Renaissance Studies.