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


Northern European Renaissance Painters

syllabus

Botticelli, Primavera (detail)

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:

Yes, please. Feel free. I only ask that you use their magic powers for Good.

8 January

Introductions, fear and trembling


humanism

Francesco Petrarca ("Petrarch")

10 January

Skelton, Elynour Rummying (1)


Kathye: Thomas More

Laura: Desiderius Erasmus

17 January

Wyatt and Surrey in Songs and Sonnets ("Tottel's Miscellany") (188-97)


Beth: Albrecht Durer

Mads: Michelangelo 

22 January

Wyatt and Surrey


Brittney: John Calvin

D'Jara: John Knox

24 January

The third day of Wyatt and Surrey


Hallie: Pierre Ronsard

Mariah: Joachim DuBellay

Botticelli, Simonetta Vespucci

29 January

Baldwin, Mirror [Richard II (281); Cade (284); Induction (291); Jane Shore (299) 


Kara: William Caxton

David: Wynkyn de Worde

31 January

Anne Dowriche, Bloody Marriage, Butcherly Murder (619)


Tara: Leon Battista Alberti, Dome of Florence Basilica


AND


Donato Bramante, Tempietto

5 February

Anne Locke (214)


Kathye: Arthur Golding, Metamorphoses

Laura: Sidney, Apology for Poetry

7 February

Isabella Whitney (379)


Mads: Sir Thomas Elyot

Beth: Marguerite of Navarre

12 February

Gascoigne (363-75); Greville (670)


D'Jara: Andrea Palladio

Brittney: Aldus Manutius

14 February

Raleigh, poetry (110-19); Marlowe, “Passionate Shepherd”


Hallie: English writer

Mariah: Continental writer

Bosch, detail

19 February

Campion (1270); Daniel, Delia (945)


Tara: painter or sculptor


AND


architecture

21 February

Davies, Epigrams (1137); Southwell (1101)


Kara: humanism

David: reformation

26 February

Drayton, Idea's Mirror (1094)


Kathye: English writer

Laura: Continental writer

28 February

Drayton, Epistles (1095)


Doc: Jean and François Clouet

Beth: architecture

12 March

Sidney, Astrophil and Stella (677-86)


D'Jara: humanism

Doc: Savonarola

14 March

More Sidney


Hallie: English writer

Mariah: Continental writer

Fouquet, Madonna

19 March

Marlowe,  Hero and Leander (1213-25)


Tara: painter or sculptor


AND


architecture

21 March

More Hero


Kara: humanism

David: reformation

26 March

Shakespeare, Sonnets (1079-89)


Kathye: Mary Ward

Laura: Miguel de Cervantes

28 March

More Shakespeare


Doc: Hieronymous Bosch

Beth: architecture

2 April

And wait: there's more!


D'Jara: humanism

Doc:  Thomas Cranmer

4 April

Spenser, Faerie Queene, Book I (821-926), canto 1

Clouet, Marie Stuart

9 April

FQ, cantos 2 and 3


Kara: summary of 2, good stanza

David: summary of 3, good stanza


 Tara: Ariosto, Orlando Furioso 

11 April

FQ, cantos 4 and 5


Kathye: summary of 4, good stanza

Laura: summary of 5, good stanza

16 April

FQ, cantos 6 and 7


Doc: summary of 6, good stanza

Beth: summary of 7, good stanza

18 April

FQ, cantos 8 and 9


D'Jara: summary of 8, good stanza

Doc: summary of 9, good stanza

23 April

FQ, cantos 10 and 11


Tara: summary of 10, good stanza

Hallie: summary of 11, good stanza

25 April

What remaineth . . . 


Nothing is sure, that growes on earthly ground.

                           (FQ 1.9.11)

Course Policies

Metsys, Erasmus

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 (DUE 16 February)

Wyatt's "Mine Own John Poins"

Besides learning about sixteenth-century English literature, the purpose of the course is to develop your analytical reading and writing abilities. In my profession, we make arguments, present evidence, and organize our findings so that we contribute something new to scholarship in a particular area. 


To these ends, analyze Wyatt’s poem “Of the Courtier’s Life Written to John Poins” in your anthology (197-99). He writes most of this text in the second person, and uses a fairly steady rhyme scheme and metrical pattern. Your job is to account for the poet’s effects, whatever you think they are, and to take a position on what you think the poem is doing concerning the speaker, distinct from the writer himself. You might concentrate on the significant use of sound, tone, attitude, psychology and rhetoric (i.e., structure). Choose brief passages that make your points and show us why they do. Find one slightly longer passage and explain why it is of particular significance. A poem is usually dramatic, in the sense that it was intended and designed to be read, spoken, or performed aloud. You might account for these elements. If you were teaching someone to deliver “John Poins,” what specific things would you emphasize? What directions would you provide? 


The Writing page on this website provides a great deal of help to those who seek it. The Writing Papers section explains what we do in a general way. The sections on Analytical Writing, Avoiding Needless Repetition, and Lead-ins and Quotations are highly recommended. Crucial: the “In Medias Res” section of Writing Papers. Build your paper from the inside out. Specific is good. Your essay should be 4-6 pp., double-spaced. No other question of formatting need concern us now. You may indicate line numbers in parentheses. Please see the Quoting Poetry section on the Writing page. 


Avoid listing, summarizing, and making needless general statements about life and literature. Avoid value judgments (the poem is good; the poem is bad; I believe; I think). I’d really enjoy seeing what you can do and hearing about what you think. You’re welcome to bring our other reading to bear on the topic as well.


The paper is due Friday, 16 February, by 9 a.m., by email. 4-6 pp. for undergrads, 10-15 for grads, as the Course Policies rubric lists above. Late papers = F. Strictly enforced, non-negotiable. I’m more than happy to discuss your paper or writing at any time possible. Email is fine, and the office is better. The best news is that you may REVISE this paper, the revision due at any time before the due date for the final take-home exam-paper, 30 April. Required: for revision, office conference. Like your grade and attendance, non-negotiable. 

FIRST EXAM (Due 23 February)

How does this poem reflect our course material thus far?

 

The hardness of her heart and truth of mine

When the all-seeing eyes of heaven did see,

They straight concluded that by power divine

To other forms our hearts should turnèd be.

Then hers, as hard as flint, a flint became,

And mine, as true as steel, to steel was turned;

And then between our hearts sprang forth the flame

Of kindest love, which unextinguished burned.

And long the sacred lamp of mutual love

Incessantly did burn in glory bright,

Until my folly did her fury move

To recompense my service with despite;

    And to put out with snuffers of her pride

    The lamp of love which else had never died.


How is this characteristic of sixteenth-century poetry?


The Writing page on this website provides a great deal of help to those who seek it. The Writing Papers section explains what we do in a general way. The sections on Analytical Writing, Avoiding Needless Repetition, and Lead-ins and Quotations are highly recommended. Crucial: the “In Medias Res” section of Writing Papers. Build your paper from the inside out. Specific is good. Your essay should be 4-6 pp., double-spaced. No other question of formatting need concern us now. You may indicate line numbers in parentheses. Please see the Quoting Poetry section on the Writing page.

 

Avoid listing, summarizing, and making needless general statements about life and literature. Avoid value judgments (the poem is good; the poem is bad; I believe; I think). I’d really enjoy seeing what you can do and hearing about what you think. You’re welcome to bring our other reading to bear on the topic as well.


The paper is due Friday, 23 February, by 9 a.m., by email.  4-6 pp. for undergrads, 10-15 for grads, as the Course Policies rubric lists above. Late papers = F. Strictly enforced, non-negotiable. I’m more than happy to discuss your paper or writing at any time possible. Email is fine, and the office is better. The best news is that you may REVISE this paper, the revision due at any time before the due date for the final take-home exam-paper, 30 April. Required: for revision, office conference. Like your grade and attendance, non-negotiable. 

SECOND EXAM (DUE 30 APRIL)

Much simpler than the first exam

What elements in the canto you presented to the class can you relate to the rest of The Faerie Queene, Book I?


You can be as imaginative or as prosaic as you like here.  We can try this in class with canto 12 and see what we come up with.


  • general statements from your canto that apply to the rest of the work, or vice-versa
  • plot elements that seem truly significant and help elucidate some other part of Book 1, or vice-versa
  • epic, romance, or allegorical conventions that you see as operative in your canto that apply elsewhere
  • be specific, and try to be clear about your connections
  • look at the Writing prompt in the site menu

Faerie Queene Guide

Title page for 1596 edition.

There were two editions: 1590 and 1596

1905

1905 illustration of Archimago and Una

A children's redaction of the epic.

Walter Crane

Crane the Pre-Raphaelite

His dates were 1845-1915, his origin Liverpool.  He was a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which sought to recapture the "purity" of late medieval art.  Dante Gabriel Rosetti and William Morris were its best-known members, and the movement featured painting and poetry and, most spectacularly for bibliophiles, the Kelmscott Press, which turned out beautifully ornate volumes featuring terrific engravings and illustrations.


Here is a link to the original publication of the Faerie Queene publication (1897)

Crane the Arts and Crafts practitioner

The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society was Crane's invention, as was the ensuing artistic movement. Crane said of decorative design: "the artist works freest and best without direct reference to nature, and should have learned the forms he makes use of by heart."  


Here is a Dutch video with music featuring many of the illustrations.