Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG302Y1Y L0101

ENG302Y1Y   L0101   MWF10
Poet Prose 1500-1600
Instructor: T. Samuk

Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, Room TBA 
Email: TBA.

Brief Description of the Course: The beginning of the English Renaissance is conventionally dated to 1485, the year of Henry VII’s accession to the throne. Over the next century of Tudor rule, England underwent a period of change unlike anything since the Norman invasion. By the time of Elizabeth I’s death in 1603, the country’s political, religious, economic, social, and aesthetic landscape had been radically transformed. During the sixteenth century, that is, England became modern. In this course, you’ll be introduced to the cultural, historical, and religious context of the period through a range of texts, including lyric poems, biblical translations, epics, satires, sermons, essays, and works of prose fiction. We’ll begin by examining the early influence of humanist and continental literature on texts like More’s Utopia and the poetry of Skelton, Wyatt, and Surrey. We’ll also discuss the impact of the Reformation on vernacular religious writing. The majority of the course, however, will concentrate on the literature of the reign of Elizabeth, especially the works of Sidney, Bacon, Nashe, Donne, Marlowe, and Shakespeare. The last weeks of the course will be dedicated to reading selections from Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene. Although emphasis will be placed on introducing major historical and cultural themes such as education, religion, urban life, nationhood, individuality, and print and manuscript culture, the primary goal of this course is to make you a better reader. With that in mind, the assignments and lectures will focus on helping you develop practical strategies for approaching the linguistic and poetic complexities of early modern English literature.
Require Reading: TBA.

First Three Authors/Texts: Skelton, More, Wyatt

Method of Evaluation: Assignments will consist of two terms tests (20% each), a 4-7 page paper (20%), an 8-12 page essay (25%), and participation (15%).

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