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ENGL310 - Medieval and Renaissance British Literature

Detailed study of selected major medieval and Renaissance works written in England. Cultural attitudes and historical contexts. May include Beowulf, Anglo-Saxon lyric, drama, sonnets; works of women writers, Chaucer, Spenser, Sidney. Some readings in Middle English.

This course covers more or less chronologically a range of works written in England before the seventeenth century. It does not attempt to provide a detailed historical overview of 1000 years of English literature, but rather seeks to help students become comfortable thinking and writing about a variety of early literary genres. Readings will include Beowulf and Old English lyrics, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, selections from medieval drama, selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, as well as the first book of Spenser's Faerie Queene and selections from Sidney’s sonnet sequence, Astrophil and Stella. Some texts will be read in Middle English. Most class time will be devoted to discussion, punctuated with occasional lectures on background materials. Be warned that English 310 covers a great deal of quite difficult reading. Grades will be based on participation, frequent quizzes and short responses, longer papers, a mid-term, and a final exam.

0101 - Thomas Moser

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