E 374L • The Earlier Seventeenth Century: Donne, Jonson, and Their Contemporaries
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
The course will focus on poetry published from 1603-60, that is, during the reign of the first two Stuart monarchs, James and Charles, and the Interregnum. This period is perhaps the most tumultuous in British history since the Norman Conquest, including strident culture wars between Puritans and Cavaliers, a fiercely repressive decade of "thorough" government, a bloody and extended Civil War, the trial and execution of a divine-right monarch, and the rule of Oliver Cromwell. It is also the period in which the English Renaissance as conventionally dated drew to an end. England's greatest dramatic poet, William Shakespeare ended his career and her greatest non-dramatic poet, John Milton, began his. We will be reading a great deal of the poetry written by John Donne, Ben Jonson, George Herbert, and Robert Herrick and significant chunks of work by other notables, including Amelia Lanyer, Katherine Philips, and Anne Bradstreet (a colonial writer whose volume was published in London). There will also be assigned critical readings.
Midterm and final; unannounced quizzes; memorization assignment.
The Norton Critical Edition of Seventeenth-Century British Poetry: 1603-1660