English 115A

Upper Division Coursework: The English Renaissance (through the 16th Century)

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2008 Booth, Stephen
Booth, Stephen
TTh 2-3:30 534 Davis

Other Readings and Media

Shakespeare's narrative poems (use EITHER The Poems, eds. D. Bevington et al. [Bantam Books] OR The Narrative Poems, ed. J. Crewe [Penguin] OR one of the one-volume complete Shakespeares assigned in 117J or 117S or 117A or 117B); Marlowe's Hero and Leander (use EITHER Complete Poems and Translations, ed. S. Orgel [Penguin] OR The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I, eds. Abrams et al. OR The Norton Anthology of Poetry, eds. Ferguson et al.); Spenser's Faerie Queene (use EITHER The Faerie Queene, ed. T. Roche [Penguin] OR any other annotated, post-1970 edition of the whole poem)


"This will be a survey course, but a highly selective one. Although I plan to look at the best and/or most interesting work of several lesser sixteenth-century writers--for instance, some lyrics by Wyatt and some by Sidney, and Surrey's blank verse--I mean to give over the bulk of class time on the verse of Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare, particularly their narrative verse.

I think I can teach you more about the sixteenth-century works I don't discuss in class by looking in detail at a few works than I could by scurrying through a handful of anthologies or by generalizing at length about either the particular qualities of particular authors or schools or by focusing on the particular qualities that characterize the culture that sixteenth-century literature reflects. I'm not good at categorizing, and I deeply mistrust categorization as an intellectual tool.

Three papers, each of a length determined by how much you have to say and how efficient you are in saying it. The third paper will take the place of a final examination and will be due in my box in 322 Wheeler Hall any time between the last class meeting and 3:30 p.m. on the day assigned this course for a final exam."

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