Seventeenth-century English Literature

BAC 203
  T, Th 10:00 - 11:30
Prof. Richard Cunningham
Off. Hours: W,F: 11:30 - 12:30
 T,Th: 11:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 2:30.
Office: BAC 431

Course Description

In this section of Engl 2283 we will survey poetry and prose from early in the seventeenth century until later (but not what I would describe as late) in the century. During the term, students should keep a reading diary to help them write their term papers, and each student will be called on to lead the class through two different works, each on a separate occasion. Attendance is important, and course grades reflect that. Missing more than three classes, or failing to demonstrate your commitment to the class (not the professor: the class) by doing the reading, offering comments, asking questions, etc., will result in a loss of grade.

Course Text:

The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-century Verse and Prose. Edited by Alan Rudrum, Joseph Black, & Holly Faith Nelson. Broadview Press, 2000.


No "live" phones in class. Ever. At all. None.

Your attendance is required:This is not a correspondence course, a distance education course, or an online course. Your attendance is required. Whether or not this is comprehensible to you, you add value to the class by being here. And the opposite is true: so don't rip the rest of us off by skipping out.

Class preparation: You are to have finished reading everything assigned for a given day before class that day. You must bring a copy of the day’s assigned reading to every class meeting.

Incomplete course work: Be aware that the university calendar stipulates that no credit is given for a course unless all requirements for it have been met.

Late papers: Late papers will not be accepted unless you have spoken to the professor in advance, or you provide written documentation of a medical or other emergency.


Tues., Jan. 7
  Introductions (by and to the prof., to each other, and of the period)

Thurs., Jan. 9
John Chamberlain's Letter on "The Death of Queen Elizabeth"

Tues., Jan. 14
Mary Sidney Herbert, all

Thurs. Jan 16
Essays by Francis Bacon: "Of Truth," "Of Plantations," (may be replaced by an alternative essay of a student's choice) and both "Of Studies." Nicole Rabahi on "Of Plantations."

Tues., Jan. 21
John Donne, p. 103 ff.: Student selection(s), and others. Alex Woodford on Donne's "The Apparition." Lacy Anne Mombourquette on Donne's "Farewell to Love."

Thurs., Jan. 23
John Donne, continued. on Olivia Devine on Donne's "The Ecstasy", or "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning."

Tues., Jan. 28
Ben Jonson, p. 146 ff.: Student selection(s), and others. Lacy Anne Mombourquette on Jonson's "On my First Daughter."

Thurs., Jan. 30
Ben Jonson, continued. Margaret Finlay on Jonson's "An Ode. To Himself." Jordan MacIntyre on Jonson's "On my First Son"

Tues., Feb. 4
George Herbert, p. 363 ff.: Student selection(s), and others. Maddy Johnston on Herbert's "The Altar. Margaret Finlay on Herbert's "Church Monuments." Alex Woodford on Herbert's "Denial."

Thurs., Feb. 6
Lady Mary Wroth, p. 230 ff.: Student selection(s), and others. Olivia Devine on Wroth's "When night's black mantle."

Tues., Feb. 11
Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, "Democritus Junior to the Reader," p. 188 ff. Dylan Berry on Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.

Thurs., Feb. 13
Sir Thomas Browne, excerpts from Religio Medici. Religio Medici.

Tues., Feb. 25
Thomas Hobbes, p. 239 ff.: Student selection(s). Kaese VanOostrum on Hobbe's ch. XIII

Thurs., Feb. 27
Selections from William Laud's Diary.

Tues., Mar. 3
King Charles's Proclamation. Dylan Berry.
The Scottish Covenant of 1643

Thurs., Mar. 5
John Milton's The Reason of Church Government, pp. 555 - 61. Alexis Hurst on The Reason of Church Government.

Tues., Mar. 10

Thurs., Mar. 12

Tues., Mar. 17
John Milton's Of True Religion, pp. 589 - 95. Emily McClean on Milton's Of True Religion. Kaese VanOostrum, ditto.

Thurs., Mar. 19
"The Trial of King Charles 1, 1649," pp. 1261 - 5. Emily McClean on "The Trial of King Charles I." Robbie Holmes, ditto.

Tues., Mar. 24
Aemilia Lanyer: all, p. 76 ff. Sami MacKenzie on Lanyer's "Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum."

John Milton: excerpts from Paradise Lost. Alexis Hurst on an excerpt from Paradise Lost. Taylor Rafuse on an excerpt from Paradise Lost.

John Milton: "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso," pp. 510 - 16. Jordan MacIntyre on Milton's Sonnet 19.

Thurs., Mar. 26
Anne Bradstreet, all, p. 639 ff.
Nicole Rabahi on Bradstreet's "The Author to her Book." Taylor Rafuse on one of Bradstreet's poems. Maddy Johnston on Bradstreet's "In Memory of my dear Grandchild . . ."

Tues., Mar. 31
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester: all, p. 1155 ff. Robbie Holmes on "The Imperfect Enjoyment." Sami MacKenzie on Aphra Behn's "The Disappointment."

Thurs., Apr. 2
Course evals. & Exam preview