The course is designed to familiarize students with major works of literature in this vast three-hundred year stretch. It will begin with an early and late prose work from the period, More's Utopia of a perfect society and Pepy's Diary of his individual experience. Through the term, we will move chronologically by genre, proceeding with long verse narratives (Chaucer, Spenser, Milton), then drama (Shakespeare and Jonson), and ending with lyric poems (Sidney, Donne, Wroth, Herbert, Marvell, etc.). While we will be situating these works in their historical and cultural contexts, emphasis will be on generic status and textual detail. Five critical papers will be required, occasional class exercises, and a final exam.