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 10
Please read:

Queen Elizabeth I, p. 173-4:

Sir Walter Raleigh, p. 174-8:

Consider the next three items together:

In the above sequence of poems we can see how lyric poetry functioned as a medium of social communication and also how poetry grows in response to poetry. "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" is obviously and directly in response to Marlowe's (exceedingly popular) poem; John Donne's "The Bait" takes a slightly more indirect approach, but its verbal echoes are obviously intentional.

I also add the following two poets' work from the previous edition of this book, since it will help round out your awareness of English renaissance lyric. It is worth bearing in mind that many of these poems were principally meant to be accompanied by music. If you have or can get hold of any English lute-songs from this period, listen to them. As such they are interesting to compare with the sonnets we have read — in terms of sophistication and lyric subtlety.

William Shakespeare:

William Shakespeare as dramatist: introductory materials: