E 379S • Senior Seminar
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
How do Renaissance male writers invent women inventing themselves? This course will presuppose--as Chaucer and Shakespeare presupposed--that the mind is like a storehouse of analogues and comparisons, like a thesaurus, that "invention" is the process of retrieval of what is stored on some topic, and that self (a topic: who I am, who she is) is an invented thing, something pulled out from the "places of invention." (This is very different from the later "Romantic" notion of self.) In other words, being a self, among the writers we will read, is a lot like being dressed, like impersonating oneself. What is fascinating is when the wardrobe is limited and characters have to make do with what is available. THIS is the psychological drama of characterization for these writers.
We will write five short papers (2 pp. max.) and one major paper (10 pages or more). Provided you accept responsibility for participating in every class, your grade will be no lower than the average of your papers.
Five short papers, 2 pages each 10% each
One major paper, 10 pages or more 50%
Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, The Wife of Bath
Erasmus, Praise of Folly
Spencer, Amoretti, Epithalamion, Faerie Queen Book III
Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night
Ford, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore