Bruce A. McMenomy, Ph.D. for Scholars Online
2018-19: Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Unit III: The Renaissance
Edmund Spenser, p. 179-80.
- from Amoretti:
- Sonnet 30 (p. 180)
- Sonnet 75 (p. 180)
Those who find themselves particularly taken with both Spenser and Sidney (who follows) may want to investigate the curious poem called “Astrophel”, which is a long “Pastorall Elegie vpon the death of the most Noble and valorous Knight, Sir Philip Sidney”.
The excellent Luminarium site offers some biographical information on Spenser here.
Sir Philip Sidney:
- Sel. from Arcadia, p. 182.
- Astrophil and Stella :
- Sonnet 31, p. 182.
- The remainder may be gathered from the Luminarium site here; some others are also to be found as noted specifically below. Please read all the sonnets listed here; I’d like you also to select one of them and make a brief presentation on it for the class. That’s a two-step process. First claim your choice of poem by posting a notice to that effect on the Moodle General Discussion forum; I don’t want any duplication, so make sure nobody’s claimed it before you. If someone else has already picked the one you want, select a different one. Then I’d like you to post a presentation in the Moodle forum for the Sidney sonnets (in or around this week in the Moodle).
The presentation should be a short discussion of the structure and imagery of the poem, and an examination of how it achieves its effects. I’ve given my own example for the firt poem; specifically consider these points: What is the imaginative situation of the poem? What kinds of metaphors is it using? Where does the sonnet “break”? What is its meter and rhyme scheme? You may need to refer to the appendix of the textbook for the appropriate terms; if you have questions or are just puzzled about meaning, write to me. Have your presentation posted in the forum so the rest of the class can read it, and so that we can spend our class time discussing it and asking and answering questions.
While reading these, be mindful of the fact that spelling in Elizabethan England was extremely flexible. The Web edition uses older spellings: “Astrophel” instead of “Astrophil”; i can be a j; u can be a v; an extra “e” can pop up almost anywhere.
The following links represent a variety of locations, including the Luminarium site of Mediaeval and Renaissance literature, the University of Oregon, and others.
- “Thou Blind Man's Mark”, p. 183.
The Luminarium site offers biographical information on Sidney as well as more of his work.
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