- Course Number: ENGL 145
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- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 145
- Quarter: Spring 2020
The English Renaissance represents a late blossoming of the general cultural “rebirth” in Western Europe characterized by the recovery of Greek and Roman classics, the celebration of the multifaceted individual, and a renewed emphasis on the secular world. Alternatively labeled “the early modern period,” this era also saw the voyages of Columbus, the development of the printing press, the Protestant Reformation, and the rise of centralized monarchies. English writers expressed the vitality and volatility of the Renaissance/early modern period in an outburst of prose, poetry, and drama that spanned the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century. This quarter, we will focus on Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), written in the wake of the first Spanish-sponsored voyages to the Americas; a wide range of writings by and about Queen Elizabeth I (r. 1558–1603), who known as a “female king” and a “virgin queen”; and a pair of plays that address the intersection of class, race, gender, and religion: William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice (1603) and Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam, The Fair Queen of Jewry (1613).