English R1B

Reading & Composition: Imagining Elizabeth

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
12 Fall 2008 Fiona Smythe
TTh 12:30-2 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Course reader: Philip Sidney, The Lady of May and Letter to Queen Elizabeth, 1580; Excerpts from Edmund Spenser, Complaints, Shepheards Calendar and The Faerie Queene, Book III; Thomas Dekker, The Whore of Babylon; George Gascoigne, The princely pleasures at Kenelworth Castle. Roy Strong, Gloriana: The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I Leah H Marcus, Janel Mueller, Mary Beth Rose, eds. Elizabeth I: The Collected Works Jean Plaidy, Queen of This Realm Diana Hacker, Rules for Writers (5th ed.)

We will be viewing scenes from �Elizabeth,� �Elizabeth: The Golden Age,� and �Elizabeth I�(HBO Miniseries). "


"This course will examine the many ways in which the figure of Queen Elizabeth I fired the imagination of her contemporaries and of recent writers and directors. We will use Elizabeth as a touchstone; a central topic around which we will build skills of critical reading, basic research, and composition. The course will track her progress from a young and nubile virgin Queen to the eternal Virgin married to her country, examining how Elizabeth used her sexual status to ameliorate the challenges she faced as a female ruler. We will read her letters, speeches, prayers and poems, as well as plays and poems inspired by her. The class will devote some time to examining portraits of the queen in order to understand the role visual representation and iconography played in creating the myth of Elizabeth. Research topics will revolve around Elizabeth and the Elizabethan era, but can be tailored to each student�s field of interest. Topics might include court and international politics, fashion, music, economics, science, alchemy and early mathematics, etc.

The purpose of this course is to improve your writing and research skills. In pursuit of developing your critical reading we will proceed at a leisurely pace, allowing you time to analyze the text. A brief written commentary on the reading will be due on a weekly basis. A diagnostic essay will be assigned at the beginning of the semester. Two longer papers, one a 7-9 page critical essay, and the second a 10-11 page research paper, will be due at the mid-point and end of the semester. These will undergo several rounds of revision."

Back to Semester List