English 246C

Graduate Proseminars: Renaissance (16th-Century): Faustus' Books

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2009 Landreth, David
Landreth, David
MW 10:30-12 301 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Bacon, F., Essays (1597); Bible, "King James" Version; Cranmer, T., et al. The Book of Common Prayer; Erasmus, D., The Praise of Folly; Jones, E., ed., Oxford Book of Sixteenth-Century Verse; Machiavelli, N., Prince; Marlowe, C., Doctor Faustus; Marlowe, C., Tamburlaine; Montaigne, M., Essays (tr. Florio 1603, if you can get it, or Frame); More, T., Utopia; Nashe, T.,The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works; Ovid, Metamorphoses, tr. Golding; Shakespeare, W., A Midsummer Night's Dream; Sidney, M., Sidney Psalter; Sidney, P., Defense of Poesy; Spenser, E., Faerie Queene
Spenser, E. Minor Poems; Virgil, Aeneid.


               Divinity, adieu.
These metaphysics of magicians
And necromantic books are heavenly:
... his dominion that exceeds in this
Stretcheth as far as does the mind of man.

As the sixteenth century began, English literary culture was emerging from the long shadow of domestic strife to claim the cosmopolitan promises of humanism— a citizenship both of the modern world and of classical history.  Yet as suddenly as that world had doubled with Columbus' discovery, the Reformation split it in half.  The consuming passion and the divisive trauma of learning are the twin legacies of humanism to the Elizabethan Renaissance: the deal with the devil that Faustus makes in order at once to know more and to flee from what he knows already.

Students should read the "A-text" (1604) of Doctor Faustus before the first class meeting and bring the text to class. The rest of the following booklist is tentative (and will be trimmed).

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