ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Fall 2022, Section 001 - Seventeenth Century Poetry
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


This course examines the lives and writings of several English poets from the seventeenth century, including John Donne, Mary Wroth, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, and John Milton. Some of these poets, such as Donne, powerfully influenced poets in the twentieth century and beyond. Others, such as Mary Wroth—the first woman to write a sonnet sequence in English—were forgotten for centuries. While we will situate each poet in the rich, exciting, and often dangerous world of England in the late 1500s and early 1600s, most of our time will be focused on the poetic output of these writers. This means studying a wide range of poetic forms, and also being mindful of how poetry served as a powerful means of communicating controversial ideas in this period: ideas about religion, human relationships, and so on. At moments, these writers might strike us as our contemporaries, as when they imagine interstellar exploration, the importance of preserving the natural world, and the complexities of the human body's interior. But at other times they will estrange themselves from us, and the societies they inhabit will strike us as very odd and unsettling. As we study the 1600s, we will consider what we have to learn from this distant epoch, and what inhabitants of this world have yet to learn themselves.


Major Requirement: Pre-1642 & Poetry


Course Requirements:

Three papers will be assigned (5-7 pages each), one in lieu of a midterm exam, another in lieu of a final. Students will also regularly give presentations in class.


ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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