L309 / B622: Elizabethan Poetry

Spring 2018 - MW 4.30-5.45 - LA 116

We will read several poets, the non-canonical as well as the traditional, from the middle of the reign of Henry VIII to the first decade of the rule of James I (1530-1609). We will concentrate primarily on Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.Yet we will also study Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney, Anne Askew, Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Earl of Surrey, Barnaby Googe, Christopher Marlowe, Samuel Daniel, Sir Walter Raleigh, and others. We will talk about issues such as Petrarchism and other continental literary influences, Biblical translations, women as writers, and poetical form and meter. We will also investigate trends in sixteenth-century English history: the reigns of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, James I; England’s place in European politics and culture; religion and society, especially the Reformation. 


Sixteenth-Century English History Timeline

Hans Holbein the Younger

He's my favorite artist, because he sees into the core of people and captures it in paint, chalk, or pencil in a way that is simultaneously breathtaking and disturbing. You could see his faces in England today, or, for that matter, in West Virginia or Vermont. The expressions are enigmatic: are the subjects about to burst into laughter or start crying? What could possibly be on their minds? And so forth. Holbein (1497-1543) was, like Handel after him, a great German artist who made good among das englische Volk. He learned much from his father, the late Gothic painter whose style resembles Breughel’s. He was also apparently influenced by fifteenth-century Italian portraiture and humanism, so that he was able to create his own aesthetic. Erasmus recommended him, and on his migration to England in 1526, joined Thomas More’s household: the artistic results speak for themselves. His patrons included Anne Boleyn (as queen) and Thomas Cromwell, Lord Chancellor after More and Wolsey. He became Henry VIII’s official court painter. He is also important in the history of the book, and one hell of an engraver. Although I love his paintings, it is his chalk drawings that I find astonishing—like a Shakespeare play or a canto of The Faerie Queene, the perspective changes and shifts on each viewing or reading.


Holbein chalk drawings


Elizabethan Women Writers


Edmund Spenser

syllabus

General Information and Course Book

English L309 / B633: Elizabethan Poetry

Spring 2018   MW 4.30-5.45  LA 116

Office:  LA 105  Hours: please contact me

email: stapletm@ipfw.edu   phone: 481.6841 (message)

webpage: www.elmlsteach.org


Text:

Loughlin et al., eds., The Broadview Anthology of Sixteenth-Century Poetry and Prose


Electronic Devices:

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8 January

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10 January

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17 January

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22 January

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24 January

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29 January

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31 January

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5 February

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7 February

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12 February

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14 February

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19 February

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21 February

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26 February

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28 February

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12 March

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14 March

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19 March

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21 March

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26 March

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28 March

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2 April

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4 April

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9 April

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11 April

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16 April

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18 April

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23 April

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25 April

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Course Policies

ATTENDANCE AND GOOD MANNERS

You are allowed five (5) absences for any reason you choose. Students who miss more than this will fail the course, without exception, regardless of circumstances. I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences, nor am I responsible for material that you miss because you are absent. Students who miss the attendance call (the first five minutes of class) will be marked absent; students who get up and leave in the middle of class will be marked absent. Please take care of your rest room issues BEFORE class. If you must leave, give us the high sign. 

DUE DATES

Your paper and take-home exams are due on the scheduled non-class dates by 9 a.m. via email. Late papers = 0. No exceptions. These will be short, 4-6 pp. for undergrads, 10-15 pp. for grads. Your paper and first exam may be revised after meeting with the instructor in the office and discussing your plans. 

DON'T BE A PLAGIARIZING IDIOT

It should go without saying that students are also expected to do their own work; indebtedness to secondary materials (either printed or electronic) must be clearly indicated so as to avoid plagiarism: 

—(piecemeal) using someone else’s words and phrases as if they were your own, not pararphrasing or summarizing properly, even with proper documentation;
—(grotesque) using someone else’s ideas as if they were your own, without proper documentation;
—(more grotesque) allowing someone else to write your paper for you.    

PLEASE DO NOT BE A PLAGIARIST! THIS IS UNNECESSARY, AS WELL AS UNETHICAL   

GRADING

The course grade will be determined by a rough averaging together of your essay on an assigned topic, take-home midterm, and take-home final exam, and the less formal writing I will assign individually for presentational purposes. I reserve the right to take into additional factors into account; improvement, class participation, and, of course, attendance. Grades are not negotiable, personal, or subject to the influence of extracurricular academic factors. 

COMMUNICATION

You may email me at any time. I will usually get back to you quickly: stapletm@ipfw.edu


NOTE WELL: 
I always acknowledge an email submission with a reply confirming receipt. If you DON'T hear from me after a reasonable period of time, it means I didn't get the paper. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up in this case, not mine.  

PRESENTATIONS

Since our class is relatively small, we'll try and run things like a seminar for part of every class period.  I'll be assigning our short  presentation topics ahead of time, or you can volunteer. (They will sharpen your mind, help engage you, and certainly help your grade.)  Usual topics: notable person or event of the era, passage from the night's reading. Before you come to class, you'll write up a brief version of your presentation (one paragraph), including a picture that will help us visualize. And you'll email it to me. I will then post it on my teaching blog, which will be accessible for all to see while you're talking.  

ESSAY

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FIRST EXAM

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SECOND EXAM (DUE 30 APRIL)

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