|| EN36730 |
|| DESIRE AND DEATH IN THE ENGLISH RENAISSANCE |
|| 2007/2008 |
|| Dr Stewart J Mottram |
|| Semester 2 |
|| Mr Michael J Smith |
| Course delivery
|| Seminars / Tutorials || 10 x 2 hour seminars |
|| Other || week 1 - film showing 2 hours |
|Assessment Type||Assessment Length/Details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment|| 2 X 3000 WORD ESSAYS ||100%|
|Supplementary Assessment|| RESUBMIT ANY FAILED OR MISSING ELEMENTS Where this involved re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. ||100%|
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Demonstrate an informed awareness of Renaissance attitudes to death and desire, and an awareness of how these attitudes were expressed, in both secular and sacred writing from the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of at least four texts studied on the module, from both Parts One and Two.
Articulate this knowledge and awareness in the form of reasoned critical analyses.
Explain and engage with recent critical debates about the texts studied, and about Renaissance attitudes to death and desire more generally
1. To invite comparative and coherent analyses of the genres of love and religious poetry, through focus on the themes of death and desire common to both forms of writing. In so doing, to stimulate particular interest in issues surrounding Renaissance religious beliefs and practices, poetry and prose.
2. To offer a range of critical and cultural approaches to Renaissance love and religious poetry, building on theoretical skills developed in the Reading Theory/Reading Text core modules, and giving opportunity to apply broad theoretical approaches to a detailed analysis of a particular cultural moment.
3. To discuss recent critical approaches to texts by well-known Renaissance writers, and to assess the value and importance of these approaches for our appreciation and understanding of English Renaissance literature.
Week 1: 'Thus with a kiss I die'. Introducing Desire and Death: the example of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"
"Romeo and Juliet", Arden Shakespeare (London: Routledge, 1980);
PART ONE: LOVE POETRY
Week 2: Loving Oneself to Death: Narcissus and Narcissism
1) The Narcissus episode, from Arthur Golding's translation of "Metamorphosis" (1567).
2) from Freud's 'On Narcissism: An Introduction' (1914).
Week 3: Sadists and Masochists
from Sidney's "Astrophel and Stella" (1591) and Mary Wroth's "Pamphilia to Amphilanthus" (1621).
Week 4: 'Wretched Lovers slain': Dying for Love
Marlowe's "Hero and Leander" (1598).
Week 5: Parodying Petrarch
Nashe's "Choice of Valentines" (c. 1592) and selections from "Shakespeare's Sonnets" (1609).
Week 6: Death and the Maiden
from Book 3 of Spenser's "Faerie Queene" (1590) (cantos 4, 5, 11, and 12).
PART TWO: RELIGIOUS WRITING
Week 7: Deadly Desires: The Erotics of Martyrdom
from the first and second "Examinations of Anne Askewe lately martyred in Smythfelde" (1546/1547);
from the ordeals of Thomas Hinshaw and John Miles, from John Foxe, "Actes and Monumentes" (1563).
Week 8: 'For since I am Love's martyr': Donne on Sex and Death
from Donne's "Holy Sonnets"; from "Songs and Sonets" ('The Canonisation', 'The Damp', 'The Dissolution', 'The Funeral', 'The Legacy', 'The Relic').
Week 9: 'He who dies/ Loves his death, and dyes againe': Crashaw and Catholic Devotional Poetry
from Crashaw's "Steps to the Temple" (1646).
Week 10: Conclusion: In love with death? Donne on Suicide
from Donne's "Biathanatos [Suicide]" (1644).
This module explores boundaries between Renaissance love and religious poetry, examining representations of death and desire common to both. Renaissance literature is awash with poems about male sexual desire frustrated by female sexual self-restraint - a frustrated desire expressed in poetic fantasies of death and destruction. Women's bodies are metaphorically carved-up by male poets, who in turn imagine themselves torn apart by sadistic, scornful mistresses. Death and desire also govern the experience of this period's many religious martyrs. Only in death do martyrs avoid forms of spiritual, as well as sexual, violation. Later religious poets return to the masochistic metaphors of love poetry, writing fantasies of religious martyrdom expressed in the language of sexual desire.
"Desire and Death" explores a culture's fascination with, and eroticisation of, death. In Part One, the idea of narcissism (loving oneself to death) is examined in relation to examples of sadistic and masochistic expressions of desire, in Renaissance poetry influenced by the "Canzoniere" of Francesco Petrarch. Part Two investigates the Renaissance cult of martyrdom (dying for love of God), exploring the relationship between death and desire in examples of Protestant and Catholic religious poetry.
The module addresses the following questions: What were Renaissance attitudes towards desire and death, and how can we uncover them? How might these attitudes have impacted on death's representation in literature? Can we distinguish between representations of male and female death and desire? Is it significant that death and desire are themes in religious as well as love poetry? Does the occurrence of these themes in secular as well as religious writing have any implications for our understanding of literary genre?
|| through analysis of texts |
|| through study and analysis of cultural context and critical models; through exposure to facsimiles of some early printed texts |
|| through group discussions and presentations |
|Improving own Learning and Performance
|| through independent reading and written assignments |
|| through group presentations and small-group discussions |
|| through use of Blackboard; encouragement to engage with electronic resources available via Voyager (EEBO; LION) |
|Personal Development and Career planning
|| Students will develop research skills transferable to other undergraduate modules, and applicable to postgraduate study. Students will also develop transferable time-management and spoken and written communication skills. |
|Subject Specific Skills
|| Through analysis of literary representations of desire and death, students will develop an ability to draw comparisons between the genres of love poetry and religious writing, and to question received generic divisions between literary and `non-literary' texts. |
** Should Be Purchased
(2003.) Renaissance literature: an anthology /edited by Michael Payne and John Hunter.
Shakespeare, William (1980) Romeo and Juliet - Arden Shakespeare /edited by Brian Gibbons
Thomson Learning EMEA 9781903436417
Spenser, Edmund (1987) The Faerie Queene /edited by Thomas P. Roche
2nd edition. Penguin 9780140422078
** Supplementary Text
(1992.) Erotic politics :desire on the Renaissance stage /edited by Susan Zimmerman.
(1997.) Religion and culture in Renaissance England /edited by Claire McEachern and Debora Shuger.
Cambridge University Press 0521584256
(1996.) Religion, literature, and politics in post-Reformation England, 1540-1688 /edited by Donna B. Hamilton, Richard Strier.
Cambridge University Press 0521474566
Aries, Philippe (1974.) Western attitudes toward death : from the Middle Ages to the present /by Philippe Ari es ; translated [from the French MS.] by Patricia M. Ranum.
Johns Hopkins University Press 0801815665
Bataille, Georges (1986) Erotism: Death and Sensuality, trans. Mary Dalwood
City Lights Books 0872861902
Boothby, Richard (1991.) Death and desire : psychoanalytic theory in Lacan's return to Freud.
Dollimore, Jonathan (1998.) Death, desire and loss in western culture /Jonathan Dollimore.
Allen Lane The Penguin Press 0713991259
Dollimore, Jonathan (1991.) Sexual dissidence :Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault /Jonathan Dollimore.
Foucault, Michel (1987 (1992 prin) The history of sexuality /Michel Foucault; translated from the French by Robert Hurley.
Foucault, Michel (1979.) The history of sexuality /Michel Foucault; translated from the French by Robert Hurley.
Allen Lane 0713910941
Greenblatt, Stephen (1980 (various p) Renaissance self-fashioning: from More to Shakespeare /Stephen Greenblatt.
University of Chicago Press 0226306534
Knott, John R. (1993.) Discourses of martyrdom in English literature, 1563-1694 /John R. Knott.
Cambridge University Press 0521433657
Marshall, Cynthia (June 2002) The Shattering of the Self: Violence, Subjectivity, and Early Modern Texts
Johns Hopkins University Press 0801867789TRADECLOTH
Monta, Susannah Brietz (Aug. 2005) Martyrdom and Literature in Early Modern England
Cambridge University Press 9780521844987
Sawday, Jonathan. (1995.) The body emblazoned: dissection and the human body in Renaissance culture /Jonathan Sawday.
Truman, James C W (2003) ELH John Foxe and the Desires of Reformation Martyrology
This module is at CQFW Level 6