ENGL412 - Literature of the Seventeenth Century, 1600-1660

Prerequisite: Two English courses in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.

Works from early Stuart through Interregnum period. Major literary genres in historical contexts. Writers such as Donne, Jonson, Mary Wroth, Bacon, Browne, and Marvell.

This course offers a survey of English literature and imagination during the tumultuous years 1600-1667, taking as its primary theme the idea and experience of change. From Spenser’s terrifying and timely vision of Mutabilitie at the end of The Faerie Queene to Marvell’s slippery Horation Ode through the radical transformation of space and perspective in Milton’s Paradise Lost, we will consider how change takes place within and through literary form, the psychological impact of new technologies such as the telescope, how and why poets and philosophers change their minds (or resist change), and the unstable status of literature itself during this period of intense religious, political, and intellectual upheaval. Authors we will consider include Montaigne, Bacon, Jonson, Donne, Herbert Galileo, Marvell, Cavendish, More, and Milton. Emphasis will be placed on the critical analysis of language, exploring the nature of interdisciplinary analogies, and the development of original arguments.