English 100

Junior Seminar: Representing Elizabeth I?Feminine Sovereignty in Poetry and Painting

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2007 Landreth, David
Landreth, David
MW 4-5:30 121 Wheeler
Other Readings and Media

Elizabeth I, Queen of England: Collected Works; Spenser, E.: Edmund Spenser?s Poetry; Sidney, P.: Major Works; Shakespeare, W.: Richard II, The Merry Wives of Windsor; Brigden, S.: New Worlds, Lost Worlds: the Rule of the Tudors, 1485-1603;and a course reader


At the crossing of historiography, poetry, and the visual arts in sixteenth-century England stands the enigmatic and paradoxical figure of Elizabeth Tudor, the sovereign Queen of a patriarchal society. Elizabeth crafted her power through a complex and contradictory persona in multiple media, shaping her virgin sexuality into an idol for the devotion of her court, and the fury of her enemies. This seminar will use an interdisciplinary strategy to examine the representational means and methods by which poets, painters, and the Queen herself sought to express, to justify, or to rail against the nearly unimaginable paradox of feminine rule?and to consider the lens that the prominence of Elizabeth affords us to look into the already-contradictory roles of everyday English women.

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