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Topic 12: Early Modern English literature ("Renaissance and Baroque")

  1. The interpretation of the terms "early modern", "renaissance" and "baroque". Some theoreticians of the age and their views (e.g., Jacob Burkhardt, Ernst Cassirer, Arnold Hauser, Craig, Weisbach, etc.)
  2. Some Tudor and Elizabethan authors: Sir Thomas More: Utopia, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder: at least 5 poems; Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey: at least 5 poems; Sir Philip Sidney: at least 5 sonnets from Astrophil and Stella; The Defence of Poesy.
  3. Poets and playwrights in the Elizabethan period: Edmund Spencer: from The Shepheardes Calender: "To His Booke", "Aprill", "October"; Book One form The Faire Queene, at least 5 sonnets from Amoretti; Christopher Marlowe: Dr. Faustus; William Shakespeare: at least 5 sonnets.
  4. The Elizabethan revenge-play and a comparison between Thomas Kyd: The Spanish Tragedy and William Shakespeare: Hamlet.
  5. Some of William Shakespeare's histories: Richard III, Richard II, Henry V.
  6. Some of William Shakespeare's comedies: The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night.
  7. Some of William Shakespeare's tragedies: Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
  8. Some of William Shakespeare's "problem plays" (bitter comedies): The Merchant of Venice, Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure.
  9. Some of William Shakespeare's romances: Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest.
  10. The career of a Jacobean playwright from among Shakespeare's contemporaries (Ben Jonson, or John Marston, or Thomas Middleton, or John Webster, etc.) and at least three contemporary plays.
  11. John Donne and the "metaphysical poets": at least 5 poems by John Donne; Robert Herrick (at least 3 poems), George Herbert (at least 3 poems); Richard Crashaw (at least 3 poems); Henry Vaughan (at least 3 poems); Andrew Marwell (at least 3 poems).
  12. John Milton: a brief overview of his career; L'Allegro and Il Penseroso; at least 3 sonnets; at least one prose-piece and Books 1-3 from Paradise Lost.

Suggested reading


last edited on Sun Jun 1 08:57:12 CEST 2003, by peter.szigetvari@elte.hu