College of Humanities and Social Sciences

ENGH 325: English Poetry and Prose of the 17th Century

ENGH 325-001: English Poetry/Prose of the 17th Century
(Spring 2013)

04:30 PM to 07:10 PM M

East Building 121

Section Information for Spring 2013

At the beginning of the 17th century, Queen Elizabeth is still on the throne and Shakespeare still has his greatest plays ahead of him; by the time the century closes, a monarch (Charles I) has been executed, England has experienced a civil war based in part on religious controversy, the slave trade has begun to grow, and scientific culture has begun to emerge. Meanwhile, wonderful poetry and prose are being written throughout the century, ranging from verses in praise of God to those of a far more profane and erotic nature, and from treatises about imaginary worlds to the beginnings of the English novel.

As you might guess, the period ca. 1600-1700 was a period of great upheaval. But it was also a period of great writing, as we'll see in this course. Not only will we read the poems of some of England's most renowned male poets--John Donne, Andrew Marvell, John Milton, and George Herbert among them. We'll read less well-known (but still wonderful) poetry by women (e.g. Lucy Hutchinson) and consider the way poems shape the period's ideas about desire, devotion, and politics. And when it comes to prose, we'll not only read Francis Bacon's utopia The New Atlantis, but Aphra Benn's sentimental novel Orinoko, the tragic tale of an African prince taken into slavery.


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

English poetry and prose from 1603 to 1688, excluding Milton. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: Satisfaction of University requirements in 100-level English and in Mason Core literature.
Schedule Type: Lecture

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