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You are here: Home Courses Middlebury-CMRS Course List ENAM 0200 English Renaissance Literature

ENAM 0200 English Renaissance Literature

The English Renaissance is a term that has traditionally been applied to literature produced in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, although this course considers writing from the wider early modern period (c.1485-1688) written both in English and in contemporary translations from continental literature. Discussions about the poetic imagination, about identity (including gender identities, religious and political identities, and the relationship between self and group identity), and about the social and cultural impact of the literary and dramatic arts loom large across the period. Authors to study might include William Shakespeare, Philip Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, Henry VIII, Aphra Behn, John Milton, Andrew Marvell, Francis Bacon and others.

Sample genres

Sonnets from Wyatt to Milton; lyric verse; pastoral; formal verse satire; epic, epyllia.

Romance; pamphlets; essays; travel (and fantasy) writing; literary criticism; political philosophy; translations. 

Exploring renaissance drama in all its variety. In the words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited.”

Thankful for every moment
I devoured the integral lectures, the seminars, the tea and biscuits, and the charming streets of Oxford. Aided by my tutors, my passion for the human...
Mike Rectenwald, Summer 2000, Geneva College