Syllabus/achievement requirements

Textbook (obligatory):

  • Isabel Rivers, Classical and Christian Ideas in English Renaissance Poetry: A Students’ Guide, 2nd edn (Routledge, 1994)

Secondary reading (obligatory - available via Fronter):

  • Leah S. Marcus, “Renaissance/Early Modern Studies,” in Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies, ed. S. Greenblatt and G. Gunn  (MLA, 1992), 41-63
  • Peter G. Platt, “Shakespeare and Rhetorical Culture,” in A Companion to Shakespeare, ed. D. Scott Kastan (Blackwell, 1999), 277-96
  • Reed Way Dasenbrock, “The Petrachan Context of Spenser’s Amoretti,” PMLA 100: 1 (1985), 38-50
  • Gary A. Stringer, “The Composition and Dissemination of Donne’s Writings,” in The Oxford Handbook of John Donne, ed. J. Shami, D. Flynn, and M. Thomas Hester (Oxford UP, 2011), 12-25

Literary texts:

Except where noted (*), literary texts are in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 1 ( 8th or 9th edition). Please note the preferred edition of Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (see below).



  • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (ed. E. S. Donno, The New Cambridge Shakespeare, Cambridge University Press, 2004)



  • Sir Philip Sidney, sonnets from Astrophil and Stella: 15 (You that do search for every purling spring), 41 (Having this day my horse, my hand, my lance), 45 (Stella oft sees the very face of woe), 71 (Who will in fairest book of Nature know)
  • Edmund Spenser, sonnets from Amoretti:  64 (Comming to kisse her lyps), 75 (One day I wrote her name upon the strand)
  • Mary Wroth, sonnets from Pamphilia to Amphilantus: 16 (Am I thus conquered?), 103 (My muse now happy, lay thyself to rest)
  • William Shakespeare, sonnet 130 (My Mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun) and sonnet 138 (When my love swears that she is made of truth)
  • John Donne, ‘The Good Morrow’, ‘The Apparition’, ‘A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning’, ‘The Relic’, Elegy 19 (‘To his Mistress going to Bed’), Holy Sonnets 1, 5, 13, 14, 19; ‘A Hymn to God the Father’
  • Michael Drayton, ‘To my most dearely-loved friend Henry Reynolds Esquire, of Poets & Poesie’ (*) (available online via Fronter)
  • Ben Jonson, ‘To the Memory of My Beloved, The Author, Mr. William Shakespeare, and What He Hath Left Us’, ‘To John Donne’, ‘A Sonnet, to the Noble Lady, the Lady Mary Wroth’
  • George Herbert, ‘The Altar’, ‘Easter Wings’, ‘Prayer (1)’, ‘Denial’, ‘Man’, ‘Death’, ‘Love (3)’
  • Richard Crashaw, ‘To the Noblest & best of Ladies, the Countess of Denbigh’, incl. ‘Non vi’ (Not by force)
  • Andrew Marvell, ‘An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland’
  • Katherine Philips, ‘Upon the Double Murder of King Charles’
  • Margaret Cavendish, ‘The Poetess’s Hasty Resolution’
  • John Milton, Paradise Lost I, IV, IX



  • Sir Philip Sidney, from The Defense of Poesy
  • John Donne, Meditation 17, and excerpt from Death’s Duel
  • Izaac Walton, from The Life of Dr. John Donne
  • Ben Jonson, from Timber, or Discoveries (*) (available on Fronter)
  • John Milton, from Areopagitica
Published May 20, 2014 12:16 PM - Last modified Aug. 30, 2014 12:33 PM