ENGLISH 620-001 (3 credits):  Directed Readings:  Elizabethan Literature

Independent Study with Joseph Bowling

Professor's Information

Course Description

English 620-001—which centers on three main figures:  Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare—surveys poetry, prose narratives, drama, and critical theory of the Elizabethan period (1558-1603).  The course requires primary and secondary readings, a term paper, and a final examination.

Objectives and Outcomes for Graduate Students

Within the content knowledge area, students will demonstrate knowledge of various forms of written texts, major periods in the history of English, American, and world literatures, and the standard terminology of literary analysis. Also, students will demonstrate knowledge of professional standards of grammar and mechanics, scholarly reference methodology and tools, and various critical approaches to literary analysis.

Graduate Students:  Student Objectives: Content Knowledge.

The student will demonstrate knowledge of:

  1. various forms of written texts (including fiction, poetry, drama, essay, and other literary genres)
  2. major periods in the history of English, American, and world literature in terms of cultural contexts, styles, dominant genres, language, and subject matter
  3. major similarities and differences among British, American, and other national literatures
  4. professional standards of grammar, mechanics, and usage accepted in the scholarly community
  5. standard reference tools, methods, and forms of documentation used in scholarly research
  6. the standard terminology of literary analysis used in scholarly writing
  7. various critical perspectives such as the formalist, structuralist, and post-structuralist approaches
  8. the English language, including its structure, grammar, vocabulary, and historical development
  9. writers from different cultural, ethnic, and minority backgrounds

Graduate Students:  Student Objectives: Skills in Analysis, Writing, and Communication.

The student will:

  1. present orally the findings of research and critical analysis
  2. demonstrate the correct use of standard reference tools, the proper handling of primary and secondary sources, and proper documentation of all sources
  3. write research papers and critical analyses on appropriate topics from language, literature, or pedagogy
  4. demonstrate a publishable level of critical, creative, or pedagogical materials
  5. sustain a high standard of written expression in lengthy critical or creative works (including but not limited to theses)
  6. demonstrate synthesizing skills through a comprehensive final examination


Available at the Bookworm: 

Available at the library:

Acquire on your own:

Course Requirements for Graduate Students (a.k.a. Student Learning Activities)

* Reading of primary and secondary material per the schedule below.  Main text is The Golden Hind: An Anthology of Elizabethan Prose and Poetry, ed. Roy Lamson and Hallett Smith (rev. ed.).  Lamson and Smith's larger anthology at PR1125 .L3 1956a probably contains everything you will need.  Spenser readings are from Edmund Spenser's Poetry, ed. Hugh Maclean and Anne Lake Prescott (3rd ed.).  You can use library books for most of the primary readings.  Note:  You will need to order on ILL or PASCAL the books by Knott and Felch, but I have a copy of Felch's book on Lock.

* Regular reflection on the primary material via handouts posted on ENGL 514 home page.  You would be very wise to create a notebook of handouts and secondary sources.  Note:  A prelim would be more in-depth--it would include the whole FQ, the whole of SC, etc.; more Marlowe plays; Sidney's Arcadia; and much more.  But what is here will give you a sort of outline for getting started. 

* 15-25 page term paper due at the end of the course.  You should submit stages every few weeks throughout the semester.

* Final examination to be written with my ENGL 305 course on Tuesday, May 3rd, at 11:30 a.m. in Owens 201. I will give you the questions in advance.


Other Course Policies

Format for Papers:  

Departmental Policies and Procedures

"Unless your professor specifies otherwise on her or his syllabus, the following policies and procedures apply for all courses offered by the Department of English (CRTW, ENGL, ENGE, and WRIT)."  --Department of English

Goals: Goals for all courses in the Department of English, including those that meet requirements for NCATE certification, are described at http://www.winthrop.edu/english/goals.htm.  

Syllabus Change Policy: The version of your instructor's policy posted on her/his website, WebCT site, or www.turnitin.com site is the official policy statement for your class. This page may change during the semester, so make sure you check it frequently to keep up with changes.

Resources: The English Department’s home page is http://www.winthrop.edu/english.  Please check there for links to instructors' Web pages and course materials.

Office Hours: My office hours this semester are MTWR, 3:30-4:30. I will make every effort to be available during these hours or to notify you if I cannot be available.

E-mail List Serves: Winthrop automatically generates a listserv for each class using the Winthrop e-mail addresses of all students enrolled in a class on the first day of instruction. If you add the class late or if you prefer to use an alternate e-mail address, you must personally enroll in the listserv. You can find the instructions for doing so at http://www.winthrop.edu/acc/imailsrv.asp.

Contacting Your Instructor: All instructors in the Department have voice mail in their offices and Winthrop e-mail addresses. Make sure you write down your instructor’s phone number and e-mail address where you will not lose it. You can leave messages for your instructor in the department mailroom, 248 Bancroft, which is open from 8:30-5:00 each day.

Instructor Accessibility: You can expect me to be available as a resource from which to draw and to obtain feedback. I am very responsive to email questions as long as I know who the email is from and have all information necessary to provide a complete answer. Please be sure to “sign” your emails as oftentimes email names are confusing at best (e.g., brownb1@winthrop.edu could be Bob Brown or Beth Brown). Please make sure to speak slowly and comprehensibly if leaving a voicemail so that I can decipher the name, message, and return phone number as well.

What you cannot expect of me is to be available 24/7. While I do check my email and voicemail regularly (I do not check e-mail on weekends, however), I do not necessarily check them more than once a day or late in the evenings. Therefore, if you procrastinate on an assignment, you may not have the information you need to complete the assignment appropriately. Please plan your time accordingly to maximize the probability that you will receive a response in time for it to be useful.

Student Conduct Code: As noted in the Student Conduct Code:  “Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals.” The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in the “Student Conduct Code Academic Misconduct Policy” in the online Student Handbook (http://www2.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/handbook/StudentHandbook.pdf). 

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")–whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not. It is also a violation of the Student Conduct Code (http://www.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/Judicial/judcode.htm). The English Department has prepared The Correct Use of Borrowed Information to explain plagiarism (see www.winthrop.edu/english/plagiarism.htm .) You may be required to print out this statement, sign the last page, and bring it to class when required by your instructor. Ignorance or failure to consult this material is no excuse.

Grading Policy: This class will not use the plus/minus grading system. In this class, the following numerical equivalents for grades are used:

Minimum Grades in Classes: In order to pass this class, you must receive a minimum of D- (60%).

Final Examinations: Winthrop University policy requires that all classes meet during their scheduled final examination period. This schedule can be found on the Records and Registration website at http://www.winthrop.edu/recandreg/calendars/default.htm. Winthrop University policy specifies that personal conflicts such as travel plans and work schedules do not warrant a change in examination time. You are responsible for checking the time of your final examination and for making arrangements to be there.

Students with Disabilities: Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education.  If you have a disability and need classroom accommodations, please contact Gena Smith, Coordinator, Services for Students with Disabilities, at 323-3290, as soon as possible.  Once you have your Professor Notification Form, please tell me so that I am aware of your accommodations well before the first assignment, test, or paper.

Safe Zones Statement: The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Duplicate Submission of Papers: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of your English instructor and the other instructor involved in advance. This is to conform to the Student Code of Conduct, §V, which states: "Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to … presenting the same or substantially the same papers or projects in two or more courses without the explicit permission of the professors involved." (Student Code of Conduct §V: http://www.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/Judicial/judcode.htm )

Writing Center: The Writing Center provides support for all students in all Winthrop classes free of charge. It is located in 242 Bancroft (x-2138). Check its web page (http://www.winthrop.edu/wcenter) for current hours.



Course Calendar


Date Primary Readings Secondary Readings
Jan. 10 Intro to the course + comments on verse form + Wyatt's sonnet  
Jan. 12
  • "Elizabethan England," GH 1-14
  •  Video:  The Elizabethan Age (DA 355 .E45 1990)
  • Chronology
Jan. 17 (MLK) UNIT ONE:  Spenser, Literary Theory, and the Shape of a Poet's Career
  • Sidney, An Apology for Poetry, GH 271-309
  • Gosson, The School of Abuse, GH 228-31
  • Sidney, Astrophel and Stella, sonnets 5, 25, 37, and 71: GH 238, 244, 248, and 258
Chapter 2, "The Defense of Poesie" in Robert Kimbrough's Sir Philip Sidney (available on database:  Literature Resources from Gale)
Jan. 19 Chapter 2, "1579: The Shepheardes Calender" in Sanford Sternlicht's Edmund Spenser (database:  Literature Resources from Gale); also read entry on SC in The Spenser Encyclopedia
Jan. 24
  • Continue SC:  January, April, and December.
  • Begin Spenser, Amoretti, ESP 587-623
Jan. 26
  • Continue Spenser, Amoretti, continued
Sternlicht's chapter on Amoretti and SE's entry on Amoretti
Jan. 31
  • Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book I:  Letter to Ralegh, Proem, Cantos 1-4, esp. Canto 1: ESP 1-55
  • Handout on North's Theseus
  • Bible: Ephesians 6
Fike, Spenser's Underworld in the 1590 Faerie Queene, chapters 1-2
Feb. 2
  • Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book I:  Cantos 5-8, esp. Canto 5: ESP 55-106
William Sessions, "Spenser's Georgics," ELR 10 (1980): 202-38.
Feb. 7
  • Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book I:  Cantos 9-12, esp. Canto 11: ESP 106-61
Carol Kaske, "The Dragon's Spark and Sting," in Essential Articles for the Study of Edmund Spenser
Feb. 9
  • Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book II: Cantos 7 and 12: ESP 172-92 and 208-30
Familiarize yourself with Harry Berger's The Allegorical Temper
Feb. 14
  • Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book III, Canto 3
Fike, Spenser's Underworld, chapter 5; familiarize yourself with A. C. Hamilton's edition of FQ (2nd ed.)
Feb. 16 UNIT TWO:  Marlowe, Death, and Heroism
  • Marlowe, Hero and Leander, GH 393-413


Robert E. Knoll's chapter on H&L in Christopher Marlowe (PR2673 .K55)
Feb. 21
  • Marlowe, Hero and Leander, continued
Feb. 23
  •  Chapman, Hero and Leander, Sestiads 3-6, pages 132-70 in The Poems of George Chapman (PR 2450 .P6 1962)
Feb. 28
  • Foxe, Acts and Monuments, GH 135-43
  • Handout on Foxe, Elizabeth, and Essex
  • "Ars Moriendi Handout"
  • Bible: Acts 4-7
Familiarize your self with, and read around in John R. Knott's

Discourses of Martyrdom in English Literature, 1563-1694

Mar. 7
  • Hakluyt, The Principall Navigations, GH 464-89
  • Ralegh, A True Report, GH 492-510
We may want to meet to discuss these texts--as you like it.
Mar. 9
  • Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, paperback
Fike, "Teaching Doctor Faustus via the Ars Moriendi Tradition," The CEA Forum 37.1 (2008):  <http://www2.widener.edu/~cea/371fike.htm>.
Mar. 14 Spring Break  
Mar. 16 Spring Break  
Mar. 21
  • Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, continued
You may want to read some book chapters on DF in our collection.
Mar. 23
  • Marlowe, Edward II, paperback
Mar. 30 Marlowe, Edward II, continued Clare Harraway's chapter on E2 in Re-citing Marlowe (PR2673 .H34 2000)
Apr. 4 UNIT THREE:  Shakespeare, Love, and Women


Wayne Rebhorn's "Mother Venus: Temptation in Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis," Shakespeare Studies 11 (1978): 1-19.
Apr. 6
  • Hoby, The Courtier, GH 115-34
Apr. 11  
Apr. 13
  • Shakespeare, Sonnets, continued
Familiarize yourself with Michael Schoenfeldt's edited book, A Companion to Shakespeare's Sonnets (PR2848 .C66 2007)
Apr. 18
  • Lanyer, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, paperback
Barbara Lewalski's chapter on Lanyer in Writing Women in Jacobean England (PR113 .L53 1993)
Apr. 20 Lanyer, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, continued  
Apr. 25
  • Lock, Letter to Duchess of Suffolke, Sonnets, Letter to Countesse of Warwicke, To the faithful of the Low Countrie, The necessitie and benefite of affliction:  The Collected Works of Anne Vaughan Lock, 4-8, 62-71, 76-79, and 187-89:  I will send you a copy of these pages on e-mail.
  • Psalm 51 and Isaiah 38


Susan Felch's introduction to Lock in the anthology listed to the left.
  Term paper (15-25 pages) due by the last day of the semester, April 25 by 5:00 p.m.