Catalog Description: The concentrated study of seventeenth century literature, forms,
Text: The Broadview Anthology of 17th Century Verse and Prose.
The seventeenth century in England was a time of civil war and cultural change. Its
literature includes some innovative and interesting developments in poetry and prose.
We’ll be reading the “Metaphysical” poets, who follow Donne, and the “Cavalier” poets
influenced by Ben Jonson. Milton, impossible to classify, also falls within our period.
In prose, we’ll move from Lancelot Andrewes, a major contributor to the King James
Bible, to the scientific writing of Abraham Cowley. Seventeenth century prose falls
into “plain” and “baroque” styles still with us in various forms today. We’ll read
and discuss both.
Most classes will mix a bit of lecture with group work on the meaning and form of
assigned selections. We’ll average about sixty pages a week but the reading load
will vary, going from short, intense poetry assignments to longer readings in prose.
Four basic grades will make up your semester average:
Attendance, exercises, daily grades 25%
Midterm and Final 25% each
Research Paper 25%
Tests combine short-answer items and discussion topics from studyguides provided
Daily grades are quizzes over the day’s readings. Exercises are written discussions
on some aspect of what you’ve read. These are important practice for the discussion
topics you’ll encounter on the tests. Missing grades cannot be made up. You may miss
two with no penalty, but further misses count against your average. If you pass all
quizzes and get all exercises in on time, you qualify for an 5-point bonus toward
your class net average—enough to go from a B (85%) to an A- (90%).
Attendance Policy: You are allowed up to three unexcused cuts. After you’ve missed
three classes, I’ll want valid excuses. Anyone missing more than six classes without
a cast-iron excuse (something like a hospital stay) will be penalized five points
per cut on his or her final average or asked to drop the class.