English 115A

The English Renaissance (through the 16th Century)

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2019 Marno, David
TTh 3:30-5 note new location: 240 Mulford


In this course, we follow how English authors from Thomas More to John Donne participated in the grand cultural project of the Renaissance, defined by the belief that consuming and producing culture would elevate human beings above their natural state. Many of our authors supported the project; some opposed it fervently. But willingly or not, everyone we read during the semester contributed to it, if only by virtue of recording their impressions, thoughts, feelings, and fancies in writing. Our aim in the course is to understand both the project of the Renaissance and the beliefs behind it by looking at the works of Francis Petrarch, Thomas Wyatt, Mary Sidney, William Shakespeare, and John Donne, among others.

Texts: Greenblatt, ed., The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume B: The Sixteenth and the Early Seventeenth Century. Note that this volume has several editions between 2012 and 2018; any of those is acceptable for this course. Additional reading: Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream. Any major edition is fine, including Folger, Norton, Arden, or Oxford. 

This class satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

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