11:15a-12:05p MWF (30) 3 cr.
This course has two aims: first, to promote an understanding of the major genres that characterize Elizabethan poetry (introduced by Sir Philip Sidney in his Defense of Poesy) together with the historical and cultural contexts that gave rise to them; secondly, to foster an appreciation of the values, conventions, and techniques in the poetry that represents those major genres. To these ends, we will examine a range of poetry produced during this period within each major genre, beginning with examples of pastoral poetry and including examples of mythological poetry, complaints, lyrics (including various sonnet cycles), and satires, and concluding with heroic poetry, as exemplified by a significant portion of Spenser’s Fairie Queene.
Because much of the work of this course will be carried on through class discussion and other class activities, regular attendance and participation will be required. Also required will be a series of informal “first pass” writing exercises, several formal papers, unannounced quizzes, and a final, comprehensive exam.