Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
plan2 masthead
Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Wayne A Rebhorn

Professor Ph.D., 1968, Yale University

Wayne A Rebhorn



Wayne Rebhorn's scholarship explores the social and political dimensions of literature and rhetoric in the European Renaissance. Working in three fields—the literatures of the English Renaissance and of the European Renaissance as well as Renaissance rhetoric—he has written, translated, edited, or co-edited eight books in addition to over twenty-five scholarly articles on authors from Boccaccio through More and Shakespeare down to Milton. He has won numerous awards and prizes and has been invited to lecture at major universities throughout the United States as well as in France, Italy, and Germany, and while he continues to work on Renaissance authors such as Machiavelli and on Renaissance rhetoric, his major current project is a new translation of Boccaccio's Decameron, which Norton is expected to publish in 2013.  


English and European Renaissance literature and Renaissance rhetoric.

T C 357 • Comic Renaiss: View From Below

43105 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CRD 007A
(also listed as LAH 350 )
show description


This course aims to introduce students to a particular view of the Renaissance that runs counter to the usual definition of the period that is inscribed in its name. We will be looking at the Renaissance in terms of its employment and adaptation of the folk traditions of the Middle Ages, traditions which were in some ways quite anti-classical and which stressed 'low' genres such as comedy, farce, and satire, as well as 'low' characters such as tricksters, fools, and clowns.



We will read a couple of theoretical essays near the start of the course and will then read a range of comic writing that will include both narrative materials (short stories and novels) and dramas (farces and various kinds of comedy) written between about 1350 and the 1660s.  These works will include: Boccaccio’s The Decameron; Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel; several plays by Shakespeare; a couple of picaresque novels, such as the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes; Jonson’s Volpone and The Alchemist; and Moliere’s Tartuffe, Dom Juan, and The Misanthrope.



Students will write four essays of around 5 pages.  Each one will also be expected to present their essays to the class orally on two occasions.  And there will be unannounced reading quizzes throughout the semester.  The two best essays will count for fifty percent of the final grade; the two less successful, forty percent; and the quizzes, ten percent.  Class participation will be factored in to the final grade as well.  Final grade will use pluses and minuses.

bottom border