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Major British Writers 1350-1660

ENGL 020.601
instructor(s):
W 6-9

This course surveys some of the poetry, drama, and prose written in English from the end of the fourteenth to the middle of the seventeenth centuries. Intended to introduce students to the literary history of Medieval and Renaissance England, it emphasizes major authors, including Chaucer, the Gawain poet, Malory, Marlowe, Spenser, Shakespeare, Bacon, Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Marvell, and Milton. The class will pay attention to the development of a number of literary forms and genres, including the ballad, epigram, masque, ode, pastoral, play, rhyme, and sonnet; to the cultural contexts of vernacular writing in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, among them religion, gender, education, and class; and to the concept of "periods" -- "the" Middle Ages, "the" Renaissance -- by which writers and contexts are further distinguished from one another. Readings, lectures, discussions, and papers will emphasize students' development of skills necessary for reading and writing knowledgeably and critically about English literature in these early periods.