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Academic Year 2003-2004: Semester I


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Lecturer: Mr. Martin Alleyne; E-mail:
; E-mail: none.
Prerequisite: A pass in E10A.  

Class Schedule:

  • Two compulsory 1-hour lectures per week:
    • Lec. 1 Tuesday 2 PM - 3 PM (ALT)
    • Lec. 2 Thursday 2 PM - 3 PM (LR5)
  • One compulsory 1-hour tutorial per week, chosen from among:
    • Tut. 1 Monday 6 PM - 7 PM (TSR1) (Clarke)
    • Tut. 2 Tuesday 6 PM - 7 PM (TSR3) (Alleyne)
    • Tut. 2 Thursday 11 AM - 12 PM (TSR1) (Alleyne)
Course Description: This course seeks to introduce students to a selection of the most important poetry produced during two of the earliest, historically significant clusters of Anglophone poetry: the Renaissance (c.1550-1660) and the Neo-Classical (1660-1785) periods of English literary history.  

Paying close attention to both its technical characteristics and themes, we will attempt always to understand the poetry in relation to the main socio-economic, political and ideological features of the socio-historical contexts (class, gender, empire, race, etc.) in which it was produced. Some of the most important factors that we will consider in this regard for their radical impact on European consciousness include: early European attempts to explore and colonise foreign lands, the transition from a feudal economy, etc.

Students will study selections to be found in The Norton Anthology of Poetry (with a few additions here and there) by some of the following poets: 

  • Renaissance Poetry: Wyatt, Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Lady Mary Wroth, Herbert, Marvell, and Milton
  • Neo-Classical Poetry: Dryden, Pope, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and Phyllis Wheatley

We will also take into consideration how writers of these periods viewed poetry and literature by examining such seminal theoretical statements as Sidney's "An Apology for Poetry" or Pope's "An Essay on Criticism" for the light which they shed upon the poetry.

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