English Literature

Bruce A. McMenomy, Ph.D. for Scholars Online
2018-19: Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern Time


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Unit III: The Renaissance

Week 8
Please read:

Historical background, pp. 159-165.

After you have finished reading the historical survey, please take the background quiz for the unit.

Sir Thomas Wyatt:
A fairly complete selection of Wyatt's poetry is available at the Luminarium site, as well as some biographical information.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey:
The Luminarium site makes a fairly complete selection of Surrey's poetry available, as well as some biographical information. Latin students (or Western Lit to Dante students) may wish to see what he has done with Bk. II of Vergil's Aeneid.

To these I shall add two translations of a Petrarch sonnet. Please read in the linked file here:

We will take the chance to discuss what translation is, and what it can and cannot do, how the translator's art should be defined, and what these poems say about their respective poets. We will also talk somewhat about the general characteristics of the period, its forms of literature, etc. I would also like to take the chance -- since this is our first occasion to deal with text that is not translated -- to explore what "close reading" is really about. See how much you can wring out of these poems by looking at them closely. Then, when you have had a chance to read these poems and think about them a bit, please also have a look at my own close reading of the two translations, linked here. It was not written for a high school audience in particular, and contains some words you might not know, but it should not offer any difficulties you can't crack with a dictionary.