A poetic tradition or group of poems connected by subject matter or poetic technique. Specific topics vary, but might include poetry as a geography of mind, the development of the love lyric, the comic poem.
The Faerie Queene. This course will introduce you to Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590-1596), one of the most influential texts in English literary history. Spenser writes allegorically, hoping to teach readers about God and Queen Elizabeth, but he also writes a strange and fantastical story, about knights, ladies, witches, wizards, King Arthur, dragons, ogres, secret gardens, and magic castles. Come read about Britomart, the invincible woman warrior, as she trounces all the men in the book, and come join the hunt for the monstrous Blatant Beast, sent from Hell to spread scandal throughout the land. “A Gentle knight was pricking on the plaine, / Y cladd in mightie arms and silver shielde . . . .” Readings will include essays and supplemental poems in addition to The Faerie Queene itself, and the primary assignment will likely be a long literary-critical essay due at quarter’s end.
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