Home Page Romantic Lit. & the ArtsMilton & the 17th Century

EN 348 Syllabus

Back to EN 348
MILTON & THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

S. Gottlieb
stevegottlieb@attbi.com
En 348 (3 hrs.)
TT 3:30-4:45
Spring, 2001

NOTE: Subject to revision during the time of this course.

Computer Proficiency Required

  • A contemporary word processing program: Corel Word Perfect (at least version 6) or Microsoft Word (at least version 7). Sound formatting and documentation skills required.
  • A Web browser : Microsoft Internet Explorer (at least version 5) or Netscape (at least version 4). Ability to download text and images and to embed them in your word processing program.
  • Proficient use of e-mail, including attachments (of essays with embedded images, individual images). Mail program which can use HTML mail and attachments. You will need your own E-mail address and convenient access to the Internet.

Catalog Description

Survey plus close readings within select genres, themes, and major writers within this revolutionary period. Emphasis on critical approaches to poetry, prose and drama of the period in England from 1600 to about 1665. Major emphasis on Milton's Paradise Lost and on works of other major writers, like the metaphysical poets (Donne, Marvell, Herbert). Likely inclusions are Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon, Thomas Middleton (drama). Also included are styles and arts associated with the literature of this period: Baroque painting (Rubens, Ribera), sculpture (Bernini), music (Gabrielli), and religious meditation (Ignatius). Mandatory use of the course Web site. Prerequisite: a 200 level literature course.
 

The Course This Year

The period we study runs from 1600 to 1660 (date of the Restoration of King Charles II). However, except for Milton, most of our readings appeared between 1600 and 1640. This year's course is organized around the following: (a) Milton's Paradise Lost; (b) representative English seventeenth-century poetry; (c) Jacobean tragedy; and (d) Baroque painting, architecture, and music. Because this course functions as an introduction to seventeenth-century literature, emphasis will be on your encounter with the primary texts at hand, which we will discuss in class. I will lecture on the historical, philosophical, biographical, artistic, and literary background as necessary, and some secondary sources will be recommended, usually on an individual basis. As the course progresses, several themes will emerge as a result of the class work and my individual meetings with you, and these themes will serve to unify the course and to provide guidance for your written work. However, In general, I will emphasize this period as a revolutionary period with unusual and stressful changes on individual sensibilities.
 

Required Books:

Please do not substitute other editions.

(1) John Donne. John Donne's Poetry. 2nd Edition. Ed. Arthur L. Clements. Norton. Norton Critical Edition. ISBN 0-393-96062-5.

(2) George Herbert and the Seventeenth-Century Religious Poets. Ed. Mario Di Cesare. Norton. Norton Critical Edition. ISBN 0-393-09254-2.

(3) Thomas Middleton. Women Beware Women, and Other Plays. Ed. Richard Dutton. Oxford World's Classics. 1999. ISBN: 019282614X.

(X) John Webster. The Duchess of Malfi. Ed. Elizabeth Brennan. (New Mermaid Series). 3rd Edition. Norton. ISBN 0-393-90066-5. (NOTE: Although I did list it in November, please do not purchase this book, which will not be used in the course.)

(4) John Milton. Paradise Lost: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, and Sources, Criticism. 2nd Edition. Norton Critical Edition. Ed. Scott Elledge. Norton. 0-393-96293-8.

(5) E.M.W. Tillyard. Elizabethan World Picture. 1959. (Vintage Books) Random House. 0-394-70162-3.

(6) Xeroxed materials available later in Campus Copy (F.O.B. basement).

Note: Other books will be placed on reserve. I will distribute some xeroxed material to you, some through through Campus Copy. In some cases I will ask you to print material from the Internet.

More on Class Methods

There will be several methods used in the class meetings: lectures, supervised class discussions, and possibly some student panel discussions. I will use computer projections, CD-ROM tracks, and the Internet for the art, music, and writings not represented in the course texts. The special features of the course include the following:

* Important »» Visit the En 348 course Web site, and familiarize yourself with its sections. The En 348 Web site is reachable through the Quinnipiac Web site, or use the direct link:

          http://home.comcast.net/~stephen.gottlieb/milton/en348.html

* At the Yale Art Gallery and the British Art Center (new Haven) are Renaissance collections. Of particular interest are the following at the BAC: John Martin's large engravings for Paradise Lost, and the following at Yale: Peter Paul Rubens' painting, Hero and Leander; Spanish Baroque paintings by Ribera and others.

* We will have a "talent class" and party towards the course's end.
 

Grading and Attendance

There are no examinations in this course. Your grade will depend upon the following:

30% Essay or Web site or PowerPoint show Project - due later in course, but may be presented earlier to the class to coordinate with class assignments. Web or PowerPoint projects which do not contain essays must be accompanied by essays. Visit Student Projects (passworded site) to see student work from past semesters.

60% As many as 5 two to three page analyses of select passages and issues from the readings and other sources. I will distribute assignment topics.

10% Quality classroom participation (preparation, informed curiosity, extended and relevant classroom conversation) and attendance.

All essays will study themes and style in the literature, philosophy, or art of the period. Essays should be sharply focused, brilliantly conceived, well written, and superhumanly edited. Topics will be distributed and discussed. I am interested in fostering essays that are parts of Web projects for the Internet.

My assessment of your consistent effort throughout the course will be taken into account. Within reason, I will emphasize your best work, and the percentages will shift somewhat with this emphasis. Written work is due on time unless you arrange a new date with my approval.

Attendance: You may be downgraded for lack of attendance. More than two absences in one semester will be considered excessive. More than four absences may contribute to your failing this course. Excused illness is, of course, not an absence. Absence is not, in itself, an acceptable excuse for late work. Course assignments are provided and explained in class sessions; so, being in class aids your success in written assignments.
 

Requirements and Recommendations for Course Essays

Academic Integrity: I assume that all written work is your own and is free of plagiarism of any kind. It is the responsibility of all who are unclear about their documentation or paraphrasing to confer with me – with a draft sample and the sources. Please visit Format, Documentation, Academic Integrity. There are other relevant pages and links on the course Web site. Be aware that Web and PowerPoint projects, still new to academic work, have special requirements for documentation.
 

Office Hours

Faculty Office Building, Room 1. At the first class session, I will provide my home phone numbers.
 
Most Wednesdays, 11-12; Many other possible times, but making an appointment is always best.

Syllabus

Note: I am likely to alter some readings and reading dates.

WEEKS 1-3: Jacobean Tragedy: Madness and Alienation; Love and Hatred; Personal and Political Crises.

Lecture: Introduction to the Literary Period; some conventions of seventeenth-century writing; the Great Chain of Being.

Demonstration: Course Web Site.

  • Thomas Middleton. Women Beware Women.

  • ___________. The Changeling.

  • E.M.W. Tillyard. The Elizabethan World Picture. [Read during first 7 weeks of course]

WEEKS 4-6: John Donne's Poetry in the context of Baroque Art;

Lecture: Some traditions of secular and religious verse.

Lecture: Seventeenth-Century Painting
   (Peter Paul Rubens) and Sculpture
   (Gianlorenzo Bernini) -- the idea of Baroque Art.

Lecture: The Structure of Devotional Verse.

Lecture: The Structure of Metaphysical Verse.

  • John Donne's poems. (Selections)

  • Richard Crashaw.(Selections)

WEEKS 7-10: John Milton: Paradise Lost

Lecture: The Copernican/Galilean Revolution and its impact on Baroque Literature.

Lecture: The History of Milton Criticism and the Structure of Paradise Lost.

Lecture and Demonstration: Baroque Music.

  • Milton. Paradise Lost. (Complete)

  • Old Testament: selections from Genesis, Exodus, Ezekiel,

  • Selections from The Revelation of St. John the Divine.

  • Selections from Areopagitica, other prose works.

  • Discussion of select Romantic critique of Satan's role in Paradise Lost.

Note: Beyond this point, we will make some choices from the following readings so as to allow more time for student presentations.

WEEK 11 - 12: George Herbert as Devotional Poet: the glow and the fire; Amdrew Marvell.

Lecture: the Bible, the Church Calendar, the Book of Common Prayer, and the structure of Herbert's The Temple. Andrew Marvell's Poems.

  • George Herbert's Poems. (Selections)

  • Andrew Marvell's Poems. (Selections)

WEEK 13: Ben Jonson and the Classical Tradition.

  • Ben Jonson's Poems. (Selections)

  • The Cavalier Poets: Sir John Suckling.

WEEK 14: Women's Literature of the Seventeenth Century; Devotion, Service, Freedom in Thought, Education, Constancy.

Selections from one of the following:

  • Lady Mary Wroth: Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, sonnet sequence from a larger work (1621).

  • Anne Bradstreet (devotional poetry): The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America (1650).

At Examination Time: Talent Class and Party (mandatory class).


 Last modified: 2/3/2003
Maintained by Stephen Gottlieb. E-mail ... Prof. Emeritus Stephen A. Gottlieb