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"Cultural and Literary Expression in the English Renaissance" icon

Cultural and Literary Expression in the English Renaissance

At the outset of the 16th century, Europeans tended to dismiss English literature as inferior to continental literary traditions; the educated Englishman was obliged to travel to the continent and speak in other languages in order to "culture" himself. By the end of the Renaissance, however, some of the greatest works in the English language—from Shakespeare's dramas to Thomas More's Utopia—had been written. In this course, the student will read and examine these works, situating them within their socio-historical and literary contexts, while attempting to determine how the art of English language and letters came into its own during this dynamic period. See course site for further details. (English Literature 202)


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Susan Hrach
Susan Hrach (Content Developer/Instructional Designer)
7 years ago

This resource contains useful readings and multimedia materials that offer historical background for the Renaissance and critical approaches to specific texts. The site provides a framework for teaching a course with four major units organized according to genre. While it excels in curating secondary materials, the abundance of these can potentially overwhelm a focus on primary texts. The title of the course, "Cultural and Literary Expression in the English Renaissance," is an accurate representation of its curated content: it's about the period, and students will experience its poetry, drama, and prose in an extremely mediated manner. 

Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes