ENGL478J - Selected Topics in English and American Literature before 1800; Love Poetry of the English Renaissance
0101 - Maggie Ray

What is love?  What’s love got to do with it? These may be lines from popular American songs, but they are also key questions for Renaissance writers, who explored issues of earthly and divine love, lust, temptation, and desire in poetry, prose, and drama.  This course will focus on how these issues are represented in poetic forms, from the lyrics of Donne to the allegories of Spenser, from Shakespeare’s sonnets to the verses of Milton.  We will also consider the ways in which these texts have come to shape and define popular romance as we currently understand it. As a seminar-style class, our time together will be spent largely in discussion of the topics, forms, inquiries, and assertions of the primary texts we read, supplemented by research into the historical contexts that inform Renaissance poetry.  Assignments will include informal reports/presentations, student-led discussions, and short writing assignments.  Final assessment includes a research paper and exam.  


Two English courses in literature or permission of ARHU-English Department. Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs.