English 150

Senior Seminar: The Poetry of Edmund Spenser

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
12 Spring 2005 Adelman, Janet
Adelman, Janet
TTh 3:30-5 305 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Spenser, E.: The Faerie Queene, Shorter Poems of Edmund Spenser


I am offering this course because I am frustrated by the constraints of 45A. I have always found reading Spenser's work to be not only an intellectually enlivening and emotionally enriching experience but also a delight, and I am convinced that reading The Faerie Queene with pleasure requires more time and mental expansiveness than is available in a survey course. My hope for this course is that we will be able to take the time to discover not only why Milton considered Spenser a 'sage and serious' poet from whom one could learn more than from the philosophers but also why so many poets in the past have considered him a 'poet's poet,' a kind of storehouse of images, episodes, and narrative and poetic techniques from which they can borrow. In addition to the final twenty-page research paper and a set of exercises designed to facilitate the writing of that paper, the course will include opportunities both for group work and for creative responses to Spenser's work. (A word on 45A: though 45A is not technically a pre-requisite for the course, some prior acquaintance with Spenser will make your life easier, at least in the first few weeks.)

Back to Semester List