ENGL 322 A: English Literature: The Elizabethan Age

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

Syllabus Description:

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. You must check your email every 24 hours during the term. All written assignments and quizzes will be submitted to me by email as WORD attachments (no other kind of attachments please).

Our Emergency “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.


The Norton Anthology, English Literature, The Sixteenth Century, 10th ed. (If you are unable to get the course text before we begin the term read Sir Thomas More’s Utopia online.)


This is a 300 level, junior-senior 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 exams or on the writing assignments.


Exams There will be two exams on 6 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 study and preparation.

Writing assignments. Two 3 pp essays to be submitted to me by email. The first is on any of the readings from weeks 1-3. Use any of the Discussion Questions as a prompt. Due Friday 9 July. The second is on any of the readings from weeks 3 and 4. Use any of the Discussion Questions as a prompt. Due Friday 16 July.

Discussion. 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 leading questions for each class. Your job is to give some purposeful though to these questions. Come to our meetings prepared to discuss them and others you might have. I will call on students to respond.                                                                                                     

GRADING:  Writing assignments + Discussion  = 50%.  Exams = 50%



Week 1. Over the course of this week read in Norton, 3-13                                                                                            Mon 21 June Introduction. See the Discussion Questions to prepare for each of our class sessions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tues 22 June More, Utopia, 44-117.                                                                                                                                      Wed 23 June More, Utopia                                                                                                                                                          Thurs 24 June Castiglione, The Courtier, 176-192. Find online and read Michele de Montaigne, On the Inconstancy of our Actions.

Week 2. Lyric Poetry. Over the course of this week read in Norton, 13-26.                                                                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 Sidney, Defence of Poesy, 546-585. Spenser, Faerie Queene. pp. 249-276. Read the letter to Raleigh and the Induction.

Week 3. Epic Poetry. Before Tuesday’s class find any Bible on line. Read from the book of Revelation, chapters 13, 17, 19-22.                                                                                                                                   

Mon 5 July Independence Day Holiday                                                                                                                                 Tues. 6 July  Exam #1.                                                                                                                                        

Wed 7 July Spenser, Faerie Queene.                                                                                                                               First Hour: Book 1 canto 1, stanzas 1-55 (Error and Archimago). canto 4, stanzas 1-36 (The House of Pride), canto 8, stanzas 31-50 (Orgolio’s dungeon).                                                                                                                    Second Hour: Book I, canto 9, stanzas 1-20 (Arthur’s story). canto 9, stanzas 21-54 (The Cave of Despair).

Thurs 8 July Spenser, Faerie Queene.                                                                                                                                                 First Hour: Book I, canto 10, stanzas 1-68 (The House of Holiness). 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).

Fri. 9 July  Essay #1 due, by email, by midnight.

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.                                                                                                                                              Fri. 16 July  Essay #2 due, by email, by midnight.

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: 
May 25, 2021 - 11:23pm