Course Description and Objectives:
In this course we will read a wide range of poems, prose writings, and plays written by both male and female authors over the course of the seventeenth century. Students should emerge from this course with a better understanding of how these texts participated in the development of literary culture during this period as well as how they engaged with the historical and social tensions of seventeenth-century England. We will pay particular attention to the structure and the language of these texts as we develop the skills of close reading, critical writing, and group discussion.
M.H. Abrams, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 1, 7th ed.
• Midterm Exam
• Final Exam
• Reading quizzes (10 over the course of the semester)
• Discussion questions
• Three 1-page, single-spaced papers (one per unit)
• Attendance and participation
Schedule of Readings and Assignments:
UNIT 1: LYRIC POETRY, THE DIVINE, AND THE NATURE OF LOVE
Tues. Aug. 16: Introduction; Donne: The Good Morrow
Thurs. Aug. 18: The Early Seventeenth Century, p. 1209-1220, 1231-1232; Poetic Forms and Literary Terminology, p. 2944-2953 (OR A-49 to A-65); Donne: The Sun Rising; The Canonization; A Nocturnal upon Saint Lucy’s Day. Quiz #1
Tues. Aug. 23: Donne: The Funeral; A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning; The Relic; Elegy 19. To His Mistress Going to Bed
Thurs. Aug 25: Donne: Holy Sonnets; Good Friday 1613; Quiz #2 (Poetic Terminology)
Tues. Aug. 30: Donne: Meditations 4 & 17, Expostulation 19; Walton: The Life of Donne (p.1583-1587); Carew: An Elegy Upon the Death of Donne (p. 1656-1658)
Thurs. Sept. 1: Herbert: The Altar; Redemption; Easter Wings; Affliction (1)
Tues. Sept. 6: Herbert: Jordan (1); Jordan (2); The Collar; The Pulley; Love (3); Quiz #3
Thurs. Sept. 8: Jonson: On My First Son; On Lucy, Countess of Bedford; Song: To Celia; To Penshurst; Lanyer: To the Doubtful Reader; To the Virtuous Reader; The Description of Cooke-ham
Tues. Sept. 13: Wroth: Pamphilia to Amphilanthus 1, 16, 77, 103; Jonson: A Sonnet, to the Noble Lady, the Lady Mary Wroth; Donne: Break of Day
Thurs. Sept. 15: The Early Seventeenth Century, p. 1220-1230; Herrick: Upon the Loss of His Mistresses; Delight in Disorder; To the Virgins; Upon His Verses; Upon Julia’s Clothes; Upon Prue, His Maid; To His Book’s End; Quiz #4
Tues. Sept. 20: Marvell: The Coronet; To His Coy Mistress; The Definition of Love; The Mower Against Gardens; Damon the Mower; The Garden
Thurs. Sept. 22: Philips: A Married State; Upon the Double Murder; Friendship’s Mystery; To Mrs. M.A. at Parting; On the Death of My First and Dearest Child; Paper #1 Due
Tues. Sept. 27: The Science of Self and World, p. 1528-1529; Moulsworth: The Memorandum of Martha Moulsworth; Speght: A Dream
Thurs. Sept. 29: Milton: How Soon Hath Time; When I Consider; On the Late Massacre; Methought I Saw; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, p. 2045-2060; Dryden: A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day; Quiz #5
Tues. Oct. 4: Behn: The Disappointment; Rochester: The Disabled Debauchee; The Imperfect Enjoyment; Review for Midterm
Thurs. Oct. 6: Midterm Exam
Tues. Oct. 11: Fall Break. No Class.
UNIT 2: MARRIAGE, MONEY, AND THE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY STAGE
Thurs. Oct. 13: Jonson: Volpone; Introduction to Jacobean Theater
Tues. Oct. 18: Volpone; Quiz #6
Thurs. Oct. 20: Webster: The Duchess of Malfi
Tues. Oct. 25: The Duchess of Malfi; Quiz #7
Thurs. Oct. 27: The Duchess of Malfi; Paper #2 Due
Tues. Nov. 1: Cary: The Tragedie of Mariam
UNIT 3: OLD WORLDS AND NEW
Thurs. Nov. 3: Milton: Paradise Lost, Book 1; Quiz #8
Tues. Nov. 8: No class
Thurs. Nov. 10: Paradise Lost, Book 2
Tues. Nov. 15: Paradise Lost, Book 9; Lanyer: Eve’s Apology; Quiz #9
Thurs. Nov. 17: Paradise Lost, Book 12; Paper #3 Due
Tues. Nov. 22: Behn: Oronooko; Quiz #10
Thurs. Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Break. No class.
Tues. Nov. 29: Oronooko; Review for Final Exam; Course Evaluations
Thurs. Dec. 1: Final Exam
1-page papers: 30% (10% each)
Quizzes, discussion questions, and participation: 20%
Attendance and Participation: In addition to the reading quizzes and discussion questions, your grade for participation will be calculated directly from your attendance record and from your participation in class discussions. I expect you to attend every class meeting and to arrive on time. More than three absences will directly lower your course grade unless you have made specific arrangement with me in advance (or as soon after the absence as possible in the case of an emergency). If you miss the first two class meetings or if you miss four or more classes before the Midterm, you will be dropped from the course. Because arriving late to class is rude and disruptive to your peers, habitual lateness will also lower your course grade. You are responsible for keeping up with the reading and writing assignments for any class that you miss.
I encourage everyone to participate in class discussions, and regular and active participation will raise your course grade. Of course, in order to participate fully, you will need to come to class prepared – that is, having read the material, having thought about it, and having brought it with you. Be sure to silence cell phones, pagers, and any other electronic devices when you enter the classroom!
Reading Quizzes: As noted on the syllabus, reading quizzes (worth 10 points each) will be given occasionally throughout the semester and are designed to see if you have been reading carefully. Your lowest quiz score will be dropped; there are no make-up quizzes.
Discussion Questions: Each student will be responsible for one set of discussion questions during the semester. Students should be prepared to read their questions to the class and provide a few additional comments, suggestions, or interpretations in order to facilitate discussion. Students must also turn in a written copy of the questions on the assigned date. Students absent from class on the day their discussion questions are scheduled will receive a “0” for the assignment.
Exams: There will be two exams—one at midterm (October 6) and one on the last day of class (December 1). The midterm will cover our reading during the first half of the semester (Unit 1) and the final will cover our reading during the second half of the semester (Units 2 & 3). Exams will consist of identification questions as well as essays questions. Dates and times of both exams are firm; there are no make-up exams.
Papers: Papers (each one page, single-spaced) should be typed in a 12-point font with one-inch margins and stapled. You are required to hand in paper copies of your essays; I will not accept essays handed in via email or computer disk. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date. I WILL NOT ACCEPT LATE PAPERS.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism—copying or using another’s work without
proper acknowledgement—is a serious academic offense that will not be
tolerated in this class. I expect you to abide by the UNCG academic honor policy
on all work. If you plagiarize, the work in question will receive an F and
you will risk failing the course. Repeated offenses can cause you to be expelled
from the University. If you are unsure about how to give credit to your sources
or have any questions about what constitutes an act of plagiarism, please come
talk to me!
Special Announcement: To enhance communication with majors, the English Department maintains a listserve. Please join the listserve by sending the following message from your e-mail account (whether on campus or at home) that you use most regularly to firstname.lastname@example.org: subscribe English-l firstname lastname (giving, of course, your own first and last names). For example: subscribe English-l Jane Doe. Note that the letter l (L) follows "English," not the number 1 (one).