Sidney and Spenser: the Knight and the Poet Laureate Ms Anna Kissin-Shechter
This course studies selected works of two English Renaissance giants: Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser. On the surface, Sidney, brilliant knight, promising courtier, aristocratic patron of the arts, a living pattern of the humanistic ideal, for whom writing was a trifling pastime in a period of forced inactivity, and the middle-class Spenser, a professional whose best and only ambition was to be England’s first national poet – couldn’t differ more. However, they were the two most defining and characteristic figures of their fascinating age, at the avant-garde of the major European intellectual and artistic discoveries. By studying their works and the intricate tissue of the cultural assumptions underlying them, we will gain an insight into the culture and history of late sixteenth-century England.
Readings will include: Sidney's Arcadia and Spenser's The Faerie Queene; Sidney's Defense of Poetry and the sonnet sequence Astrophil and Stella; Spenser's sonnet sequence Amoretti and a selection from The Shepherd's Calendar. Background and critical readings will be posted on our Virtual TAU site.
Requirements: attendance and participation,
a midterm test which may be replaced by short quizzes or reading responses,
a class report,
a term paper
a final exam.