E 374K • Elizabethan Poetry and Prose (HONORS)
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
Restricted to students admitted the the English Honors Program.
This Honors seminar will ask you to read some of the best poetry in the English language. Beginning with the lyrics of Wyatt and Surrey, we will survey the major short poems of such authors as Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare (including the Sonnets), Samuel Daniel, and John Donne. Selected critical prose from the era may include An Apology for Poetry and The Arte of English Poesie. We will have, as one of our aims, obtaining a clearer understanding of what poetry was, for the Elizabethans--the full range of forms and functions it encompassed. In addition to readings from the period itself, we will make frequent recourse to a supplementary packet of foundational critical essays. We may also schedule visits to the Harry Ransom Center to acquaint ourselves with the early printed versions of these lyrics.
Because research will be instrumental to our final essays, we will discuss, in nearly every meeting, questions of research methodology: why it is done, and how. Several shorter essays (approx. 2-3 pages each) dedicated to close reading particular poems will lead up to a substantial, 12-15 page research essay on a poem, poet, or topic of the student's choosing. Grading will most likely break down as follows:
Short essays 45%
Final essay 30%
Strict attendance is absolutely required.