ENGL 322 A: English Literature: The Elizabethan Age

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 9:40am - 11:50am
* *
William Streitberger

Syllabus Description:

Shakespeare's notoriety as the world's greatest writer has eclipsed the reputations of his contemporaries. Some of them--had they lived in any other era--would be regarded as major figures. Part  of the answer to why Shakespeare's plays and poems have captured the imagination of every generation in virtually every part of the world is that he worked in a literary and dramatic environment richer than in any other period in English history. We'll examine the works of some the great writers of this period--More, Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Jonson, and, yes, some Shakespeare too.

TEXT:  The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume B, The Sixteenth Century, 10th Edition  

Requirements: in class essays, two quizzes.

Note: This class is taught entirely on line


 Summer, A Term 2021                       English 322a                                            W.R. Streitberger Zoom                                       Elizabethan Literature                                           streitwr@                                 

Our ordinary procedure: we will meet every M, Tu, W, Th from 9:40 to 11:50 in ZOOM.  Log in through CANVAS.UW.EDU. We will also use email to communicate and to submit work. Y must check your email every 24 hours during the quarter. All written assignments and quizzes will be submitted to me by email as WORD attachments (no other kind of attachments please).

Our “fail safe” procedure: Online courses require internet access. What if my/your internet goes down? Our plan is as follows: I have sent you the syllabus for the entire quarter listing the requirements, the schedule, and study questions for each hour of class time. You are to follow this schedule. Do the reading and answer the questions for each class period. Choose one question for each hour, write a 20 minute essay on it, submit them to me when we meet again.

Text: Required: The Norton Anthology, English Literature, The Sixteenth Century, 10th ed.    This is a 300 level, junior-senior level majors course in Elizabethan literature. All of the works we read were written early modern English. While the spelling and orthography have been modernized in our text, early modern syntax and word choice will occasionally make reading more challenging than you might be used to. You need to plan for this in terms of setting aside enough time to comprehend the reading assignments. In our class sessions you must have your text open in front of you so that you can follow along in our reading and discussions and take the appropriate notes. If you do not do this you will not do well on the writing assignments or on the exams.

If you are unable to get the course text before we begin the term read Sir Thomas More’s Utopia on line.

Requirements:                                                                                                                                                                                    In-class oral reports. This course is described in the UW Catalog as lecture-discussion. I will lecture from time to time, but we will discuss the material we read in every class period. I have  assigned three leading study questions for each 50 minute period of class. Your job is to give some purposeful though to these questions. Come to class prepared to discuss them and others you might have. I will call on you to respond to the questions during our class meetings.                                                                                                                                                                Writing assignments. Choose one of the Discussion Questions listed for the week in which you write. Compose a timed twenty-minute essay on that subject. Submit it to me by email on Friday of the week in wich it is due. There area total of three of these. See the schedule for details.                                                                                                  Exams There will be two exams on 5 July and 21 July.  The exams will consist of multiple choice, fill in the blank, and definition questions along with passage identification and short paragraphs. They will require careful preparation.                                                                                                               

Grading: In class oral reports + writing assignments = 50%. Exams = 50%


Week 1. Over the course of this week read in Norton, 3-13                                                                                             Mon 21 June Introduction                                                                                                                                                 Tues 22 June More, Utopia, 44-117.                                                                                                                                Wed 23 June More, Utopia                                                                                                                                                                Thurs 24 June Castiglione, The Courtier, 176-192. Find online and read Montaigne, On the Inconstancy of our Actions.

Week 2. Lyric Poetry. Over the course of this week read in Norton, 13-26. See the discussion questions for details about readings for each of the sessions this week.                                                                                         Mon 28 June Shakespeare, sonnets 1, 18, 73. Wyatt, Surrey, 119-142                                                                         Tues 29 June Sir Philip Sidney, 586-603, Mary Sidney, 604-608, Amelia Lanyer, 980-990, Mary Wroth, 1110-1120                                                                                                                                                                                        Wed 30 June Shakespeare, Sonnets, 722-738                                                                                                                 Thurs 1 July  Shakespeare, Sonnets,  Sidney, Defense of Poesy, 546-585.                                                                         Due by Friday: twenty minute essay on any reading from weeks 1 and 2.


Week 3. Epic Poetry. Before Tuesday’s class find any Bible on line. Read Revelation, chapters 13, 17, 19-22.            Mon 5 July Exam 1                                                                                                                                                                         Tues 6 July Spenser, Faerie Queene. First Hour: pp. 249-276. The letter to Raleigh. Induction. Book 1 canto 1, stanzas 1-55 (Error and Archimago). Second Hour: pp. 289-298 and 347-352. Book 1, canto 4, stanzas 1-36 (The House of Pride), canto 8, stanzas 31-50 (Orgolio’s dungeon).                                                                                       Wed 7 July Spenser, Faerie Queene. First Hour: pp. 352-365. Book I, canto 9, stanzas 1-20 (Arthur’s story). canto 9, stanzas 21-54 (The Cave of Despair). Second Hour: pp. 365-382. Book I, canto 10, stanzas 1-68 (The House of Holiness).                                                                                                                                                                             Thurs 8 July Spenser, Faerie Queene. First Hour: pp. 382-406 Book I, canto 11, stanzas 1-55 (The Great Battle). canto 12, stanzas 1-42 (Conclusion). Second Hour: pp. 406-417. Book II, canto 12, stanzas 42-87 (The Bower of Bliss).                                                                                                                                                                                        Due by Friday: twenty minute essay on any reading from week 3..

Week 4. Dramatic Poetry. This week read in Norton, 27-35                                                                                             Mon 12 July Marlowe, Dr. Faustus, 679-717.                                                                                                                 Tues 13 July Marlowe, Dr. Faustus.                                                                                                                                 Wed 14 July Shakespeare, Othello, 803-889 .                                                                                                             Thurs 15 July Shakespeare, Othello.                                                                                                                                               Due by Friday: twenty minute essay on any reading from week 4.

 Week 5                                                                                                                                                                                             Mon 19 July Jonson, Volpone, 991-1088.                                                                                                                             Tues 20 July Jonson, Volpone.                                                                                                                                                   Wed 21 July Exam 2

Catalog Description: 
Covers literature and culture of the English Renaissance through the age of Shakespeare. May include poetry by the first English laureates, the drama of the first public theaters and prose by the first English essayists.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
April 22, 2020 - 10:40pm