ENGL 2P24: EARLY SEVENTEENTH CENTURY LITERATURE
ENGL 2P24: Early Seventeenth Century Literature: Anatomising the Self and the World
Professor E. Sauer
LEC Thurs 3-5 pm TH256
SEM 1 Tues 3-4 pm TH133, SEM 2 Tues 4-5 pm TH133
Office hour: Mon 9:30 – 10:20 am in GLN 135
The subject of this course is focused on the self, which is reflected in the writing of this
time. Most of the writing is self-indulgent. For example, Hamlet talks about himself throughout
most of the play. Early seventeenth century is very similar to the early twentieth century by
means of the self-indulgent nature. The early seventeenth century is now known as The Early
Modern Period and is no longer referred to as The Renaissance Period. It is also known as The
Age of Melancholy as many people as well as characters in the plays of the time were considered
‘melancholic’. Literature of the time also focused on thinking. For example King Lear, Doctor
Themes that will be found in this course and in the texts are: Humanism, The Revival of
the Classics, The Breakdown of Micro and Macro Universals, The Decentring of the Earth, The
Shift of the Cosmos, Autobiographies (Connects with the self-indulgent ways of the time.),
Gender (Is writing gendered? Can you tell from reading something whether it is a male or female
author? There were many anonymous writers of the time.).
Each week the title of the lecture will connect with the reading for the week. For
example, this week’s title ‘Worlds General Sickness’ is from ‘An Anatomy of the World’.
This course will be a third dramatic texts, a third Webster and Donne, and a third poetry.
Early Modern Poetry Assignment: This is for extra marks only! You just need to
compose a short poem on the Early Seventeenth Century and what it was all about. It does not
need to be large (about the size of a sonnet is fine).
The Essay: Is a comparative essay between seminar topics of our choice. She will not be
giving out a list with all of the options for us to do, it is entirely