English R1A

Reading and Composition: Improper Love in the Renaissance

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2007 Alan Drosdick
MWF 10-11 204 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Ford, J., ?Tis Pity She?s a Whore

Jonson, B., Epicene

Lyly, J., Gallathea

McQuade, D. and C. McQuade, Seeing & Writing 2

Shakespeare, W., Othello

Shakespeare, W., Romeo and Juliet"


"A story of forbidden love can compel a reader through both sympathy and repulsion. We hope the frustrated lovers can somehow overcome the unjust exigencies preventing their happy union. We fear they will not demonstrate self-control if consummating their love would prove disastrous or horrific. Early modern authors capitalize on one or both of these potential reactions by depicting all manner of proscribed romantic relationships: two girls who each believe the other is a boy, two children of feuding families, a brother and a sister. There are more, of course, and we shall examine how each author crafts his language to produce in us the effects we register as we read his work.

In order to accomplish this sometimes daunting critical feat, students must develop their analytical instincts in order to articulate the intricacies of their observations in writing. To this end, students shall hone their observational skills by discussing the motivations and intentions behind some contemporary pieces suitable for critical examination?everything from an essay on shoelaces to a Coca-cola poster. Short weekly writing assignments chronicling the students? observations of these modern items will prepare them to write longer essays on the Renaissance texts. For these longer papers (4-5 pages), we will have thesis brainstorming sessions and peer editing workshops; students should expect to become very well acquainted with the writing of their peers. "

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