Syllabus/achievement requirements

To buy (mandatory books/editions):

  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 1, ed. Stephen Greenblatt and others (9th edition) (see overview of poems/prose texts far below).
  • Isabel Rivers, Classical and Christian Ideas in English Renaissance Poetry: A Students’ Guide, 2nd edn (Routledge, 1994) (used copies available eg. on Amazon)
  • Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry (or The Defence of Poesy), ed.  Geoffrey Shepherd, 3rd edition, revised and expanded by R. W. Maslen (Manchester UP, 2002) (look out for used copies)
  • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (ed. E. S. Donno, The New Cambridge Shakespeare, Cambridge University Press, 2004)

Mandatory secondary reading (preparation for the Sext Symposium – texts to be made available on Fronter):

  • Sigmund Freud, essay on “The Economic Problem of Masochism” (1924); excerpt from Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920), section V on “the death drive”; chapter 4 (on Sidney) from Margaret Ferguson, Trials of Desire: Renaissance Defenses of Poetry (Yale UP, 1983).

Except where noted (*), all of the remaining poems/prose texts are in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 1:



  • Sir Philip Sidney, sonnets from Astrophil and Stella: 1 (Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show); 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). Also by Sidney: (*) song from The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (What tongue can her perfections tell?) (available on Fronter)
  • Edmund Spenser, sonnet 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 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?); 130 (My Mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun); 138 (When my love swears that she is made of truth)
  • Michael Drayton, sonnets from Idea: 6 (How many paltry, foolish, painted things); 8 (There’s nothing grieves me, but that age should haste); 50 (As in some countries far removed from hence)
  • 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, 10, 13, 14, 19; “A Hymn to God the Father”
  • 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 Donne, Meditation 17, and excerpt from Death’s Duel
  • Izaac Walton, from The Life of Dr. John Donne
  • Ben Jonson, (*) from Timber, or Discoveries (short excerpt available on Fronter)
  • John Milton, from Areopagitica
Published May 22, 2015 1:07 PM - Last modified May 22, 2015 1:08 PM