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ENGL BC3166 17TH-CENTURY PROSE & POETRY. 3.00 points.

The seventeenth century was a century of revolution, giving birth to modern ways of thinking, and calling into question many of the old ways. In the early years, many were affected by melancholy, some believing the world was approaching the endtimes. England experienced plagues, particularly in London, and other catastrophes. So we might find some affinity with our own current situation, facing new challenges, our world turned upside down, which is what many people felt during that time. Out of all of this turmoil, however, came great literature including lyric poems by John Donne and others exploring love and desire, doubt and faith, sex and God. Donne also wrote a series of Devotions grappling with mortality over a course of 23 days when he was suffering from typhus or relapsing fever and almost died. Others turned to find solace in the natural world and friendship (Amelia Lanyer, Katherine Philips, Henry Vaughan). Robert Burton wrote a book on melancholy, which he kept adding to. Francis Bacon thought a revolution in science could redeem the world. Thomas Browne, a physician as well as writer, tackled the problem of intolerance and religious conflict. Thomas Hobbes thought only a firm (authoritarian?) government could reestablish peace and security, while Gerard Winstanley (a “Leveller”) thought that owning land (and money) was the source of all war and misery. Transgressive women had their own ideas. The Quaker leader Margaret Fell defended women's right to preach. We will read selections from these and other writers, understanding them in their historical context and with a sense of their current resonance.The seventeenth century was a century of revolution, giving birth to modern ways of thinking, and calling into question many of the old ways. In the early years, many were affected by melancholy, some believing the world was approaching the endtimes. England experienced plagues, particularly in London, and other catastrophes. So we might find some affinity with our own current situation, facing new challenges, our world turned upside down, which is what many people felt during that time. Out of all of this turmoil, however, came great literature including lyric poems by John Donne and others exploring love and desire, doubt and faith, sex and God. Donne also wrote a series of Devotions grappling with mortality over a course of 23 days when he was suffering from typhus or relapsing fever and almost died. Others turned to find solace in the natural world and friendship (Amelia Lanyer, Katherine Philips, Henry Vaughan). Robert Burton wrote a book on melancholy, which he kept adding to. Francis Bacon thought a revolution in science could redeem the world. Thomas Browne, a physician as well as writer, tackled the problem of intolerance and religious conflict. Thomas Hobbes thought only a firm (authoritarian?) government could reestablish peace and security, while Gerard Winstanley (a “Leveller”) thought that owning land (and money) was the source of all war and misery. Transgressive women had their own ideas. The Quaker leader Margaret Fell defended women's right to preach. We will read selections from these and other writers, understanding them in their historical context and with a sense of their current resonance

Fall 2021: ENGL BC3166
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3166 001/00417 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Achsah Guibbory 3.00 18