English 250

Research Seminar: Form and Style from Chaucer to Spenser

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2008 Nolan, Maura
Nolan, Maura
Tues. 3:30-6:30 205 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Pearsall, D. and D. Wu: Poetry from Chaucer to Spenser; Hirsh, J.: Medieval Lyric


In this course, we will explore the lyric tradition in English, beginning with Chaucerian lyrics and ending with Spenser�s sonnets. Along the way, we will read poems from figures like Gower, Hoccleve, Lydgate, Charles d�Orleans, Hawes, Barclay, Audelay, Henryson, Douglas , Dunbar , Skelton, Wyatt, Surrey , and a raft of anonymous poets. We will focus on the development of style in Middle English and Renaissance poetry, asking if some form of continuity can be discerned between the 14 th and the 16 th centuries, or if a radical break occurred in the 16 th century that manifested itself formally and stylistically in poetry. We will pay special attention to the manuscript and print contexts for poems, examining works in compilations and anthologies and considering what vision of poetry such an examination yields.

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