Syllabus, 17th Century Literature

R. L. Knutson, UALR

English 4328.01/5328/01, Spring 2006


I. General Information and Policies: Office, Stabler Hall 501-C; Office hours, MW 1:30—4:15 pm, and by appointment. Please Note: the English Dept is still "out" of Stabler Hall; until we move back (end of January??), look for me in the library, 4th floor, carrel #4F.

Attendance policy: I expect you to attend class regularly and promptly, and to be prepared to discuss the material.

Emergencies: If the emergency comes up on the day a paper is due, choose one of the following options: (1) mail the paper to me c/o the English department, UALR, 72204-1099, postmarked by the date due; (2) FAX it by class time (569-8185); or (3) e-mail it by class time, via an attachment in WORD.

Disability Support Services: It is the policy of UALR to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal law and state law. Any student with a disability who needs accommodation, for example in arrangements for seating, examinations, note-taking should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. It is also the policy and practice of UALR to make Web-based information accessible to students with disabilities. If you, as a student with a disability, have difficulty accessing any part of the online course materials for this class, please notify the instructor immediately. The chair of the department offering this course is also available to assist with accommodations. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Support Services, telephone 501-569-3143 (v/tty), and on the Web at

II. Texts:

Recommended reading (for 5328, any 3 are required):


III. Calendar of Readings (readings are the same for 4328 and 5328, except as noted)

JAN 18, 20, 23: Introduction to the literature and culture; bring to class the handout on Dates.

Epithalamium: Catullus, "Carmen 61" (HO)

JAN 25, 27, 30: Epithalamion:

FEB 1, 3, 6, 8, 10: Death Elegy:

FEB 13, 15, 17: Love Elegy:

FEB 20, 22, 24: Epigram:

FEB 27, MAR 1: Verse Epistle, Satire, and Ode

MAR 3, 6: Lyric Forms

  • Invitations, Persuasions-to-love poems: Christopher Marlowe, "The Passionate Shepherd to his Mistress" (Norton, p.989); Sir Walter Ralegh, "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" (Norton, p.879); John Donne, "The Bait" (Norton, p.1247, or JD); Ben Jonson, "Song: To Celia (Norton, p.1402); Robert Herrick "To the Virgins to Make Much of Time" (Norton, p.1649); Thomas Carew, "A Rapture" (Norton, p.1661); Edmund Waller, "Go, Lovely Rose" (Norton, p.1676); Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress" (Norton, p.1691)
  • Other minor lyric formulas such as curse, aubade, impossibility poem, dream poem, country life/house poem, fairy poem, and farewell to love poem: John Donne, "The Curse," "The Apparition," "The Sun Rising," "Break of Day," "Farewell to Love," "Song [Go and catch a falling star]" (JD); Ben Jonson, "To Penshurst" (Norton, p.1399); Robert Herrick, "The Hock-Cart," "Farewell to Sack" (Norton, pp. 1650, 1646), "Oberon's Feast," "The Hag" (WEB)

    **MAR 8, 10, 13: John Donne, Roundtable Discussion with Presentations: Everyone chooses one poem we have not already read from Donne's "Songs and Sonnets" to discuss (JD).

    ** MAR 15, 17, 20, 24: Andrew Marvell, John Milton, and George Herbert: Roundtable Discussion:
    Everyone chooses a Marvell poem, a Milton poem, or a Herbert poem to discuss from the selections offered in Norton; 4328 will read the poems selected for presentation; 5328 will read all the poems by these poets in Norton.


    Spring Break

    APRIL 3, 5, 7, 10: Prose Style

    Paper #2, Prose Style, due April 14.

    APRIL 17, 19, 21: Politics and War (bring to class the handout on the Lunatic Fringe):

    APRIL 24: Literary Criticism

    APRIL 26 AND 28, MAY 1 AND 3: Social Commentaries (essay, character, biography, letter, diary):




    Letters: James Howell, letters (WEB); letters to Richard Altham and Hugh Penry (WEB)

    Diaries (all on WEB or in Norton):


    May 10: FINAL EXAM (10:30 AM - 12:30 PM ) The final will be in-class; one part will be objective, covering literary and historical dates; one part will be essay, based on selected readings from the course; the essay part will be open-book. 4328 students will take both parts of the final, at the designated final exam time; 5328 students will take the objective section only; Paper #4, above, is submitted by 5328 students in lieu of the final exam essay section.


    IV. Grading: 4328—Paper #1, 25%; Paper #2, 25%; Paper #3, the secondary education exercise =25% (it substitutes for #1 or #2, even if it addresses a roundtable subject); Final Exam: 25% (10, obj; 15 essay); Participation, 25% (class attendance, discussion, and roundtable presentations). 5328—15% of the participation grade is given to the Final = 10% obj; 30% paper). 90 = A; 80 = B; 70 = C; 60 = D; 50 = F

    V. Roundtable discussions: everyone will “present” one poem by Donne, and one by Marvell, Milton, or Herbert; the goals are (1) to introduce and situate the poem by the criteria we’ve been working with, i.e., genre and style (what is it about, what is its form, what generic signals does it have; and (2) to evaluate the poem (what’s good about it?).

    VI. Papers: I describe here FOUR paper assignments. #3 is for Secondary Ed students; #4 is for graduate students.

    text: choose either Robert Herrick’s “Corinna’s Going a Maying” or Andrew Marvell’s “The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Fawn”
    purpose: (1) to demonstrate the use of the conventions of the epithalamion (“Corinna”) or death elegy (“Nymph”) in a poem that is not absolutely conventional; (2) to consider the function of the generic conventions (i.e., what do the conventions contribute to the poem?), and (3) to evaluate the extra-generic features in the overall success of the poem
    date due: Feb 22

    Choose one of the following texts, and, in an essay that situates your text in the context of our prose readings so far, describe the prose style, determining by your description whether it tends to the plain or fancy.

    (1) Jeremy Taylor, The Rule and Exercise of Holy Dying, Chapter I, “A General Preparation towards a Holy and Blessed Death, by Way of Consideration,” Section I, “Consideration of the Vanity and Shortness of Man’s Life” (HO).
    (2) Joseph Hall, Characters of Virtues and Vices, from the first book, “Character of a Wise Man,” and from the second book, “The Hypocrite” and “The Vainglorious” (HO).
    due date: April 14

    Paper #3: PEDAGOGY (4328/5328)
    You have three choices:
    (1) Turn Paper #1 into lesson plans, w/ a self-assessment component.
    (2) Turn Paper #2 into lesson plans, w/ a self-assessment component.
    (3) Turn your presentation for one of the two roundtables into lesson plans, w/ a self-assessment component
    More details to be provided as the due date approaches; if you choose options #1 or #2, the due dates will conform to due dates of those assignments generally (2/22; 4/14). If you choose option #3 (roundtable), the due date is March 22.
    NCTE Rubrics: Candidate Knowledge (General Rubrics 3.0), plus your ability to craft your own pedagogy (General Rubrics 2.0, 4.0)
    Date Due: Option #1, 2/22; Option #2, 4/14; Option #3, 3/ 22

    Paper #4: 5328 only (in lieu of the essay portion of the Final Exam and due at that time)
    method: choose a work (or some substantial piece of a multi-part work) and discuss its cultural elements (politics, attitudes toard social issues, attitudes toward the law or medicine, etc.); consider not only the writer’s voice (the individuality of the work) but also the genre and the “spin” on cultural issues. Incorporate the scholarship of the last 15 years (approx) on the text you select; or, if you are in secondary ed, incorporate a pedagogical dimension.
    purpose: to demonstrate the interplay of cultural perspectives, genre, and literary voice (style); I will provide a more detailed description of this assignment before Spring Break.

    VII. COURSE OBJECTIVES: (#7 & #8 refer specifically to second ed students in 4328/5328)
    1. To acquire an understanding of the poetry and prose of the seventeenth century within the context of the literary and cultural aspects of the early modern period
    2. To become familiar with the major genres of the period
    3. To refine skills in recognizing and evaluating general aspects of style in poetry and prose, as well as the individual quirks of the major writers in the field
    4. To refine writing skills on the literary and cultural aspects of seventeenth-century literature
    5. To become familiar with a few scholarly works by historians in the field
    6. To become generally familiar with the significant dates of literary and historical events in the period
    7. To consider pedagogical aspects of reading seventeenth-century literature from these various critical perspectives
    8. See the correlation of the secondary education assignment to NCTE Rubrics

    VIII. Secondary Education: In keeping with the accreditation requirements of NCATE/NCTE (the accrediting agency for the English secondary education program), the English Department must assess the progress of all students pursuing a B. A. in English with certification in Secondary Education. We must do this in order to verify that our courses are enabling these students to meet the prescribed NCATE/NCTE standards in English Language Arts (ELA) competencies. If you are one of these students, you must identify yourself as such to me as soon as possible so that I can include you in the assessment process. You should understand that it is the program that is being assessed, not you as individual students. A critical part of the program involves helping candidates to develop effective assessment strategies for their own use once they themselves become instructors. All students in this category must prepare an electronic Secondary Education Program Assessment Portfolio (SEPAP) of these assessment assignments, both as part of their individual portfolios and as part of the program review. To this end, all assignments related to this assessment must be submitted in electronic format for storage in my own SEPAP and eventual submission to the program reviewers. This course, ENGL4328/5328, is designated as one that addresses competencies in content, analytical skills, and writing; in addition, this course provides a model of various pedagogical strategies including oral communication.