FR 390K • INTRODUCTION TO THE RENAISSANCE
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
This course is a general introduction to the concept of the Renaissance in France, and to five major Renaissance writers. We will study sonnets of Ronsard and Du Bellay not only from an historical perspective, but from a technical perspective as well, examining, for example, techniques of closure. Concentrating on Pantagruel and Gargantua, we will study Rabelais in the context of Renaissance humanism, and also from a more modern critical perspective, looking, for example, at ideology and irony producing counter-discourses that problematize the text's ideological stance. The study of the Heptaméron will examine such topics as Marguerite de Navarre's depiction of differences between men and women, and the problem of extracting meaning from a fictional text when that text appears to propose multiple and even contradictory messages. Finally, we will read Montaigne's Essais with reference to the unsettled political climate in the latter part of the sixteenth century, and we will pay particularly close attention to that author's use of rhetoric and paradox.
Hour exams (2): 25%
Final Exam: 25% Paper (12 pp): 25% Class participation: 25%
Ronsard, Les Amours (Flammarion)
Du Bellay, Regrets, Antiquités (Flammarion) Marguerite de Navarre, L'Heptaméron (Flammarion) Rabelais, Pantagruel, Gargantua (packet) Montaigne, Essais (Packet)