Renaissance and 17th Century British Literature


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The degree candidate is responsible for having read all of the following works:


Francis Bacon. Selected Essays

Margaret Cavendish. Excerpts from A True Relation of My Birth, Breeding, and Life; Excerpts from The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World

Sir Thomas Elyot. Excerpts from The Book Named the Governor

Sir Thomas Hoby. Excerpts from Book of the Courtier

Sir Thomas More. Excerpts from Utopia

Sir Philip Sidney. The Defense of Poesy


John Donne. Selections from Songs and Sonets, Selected Elegies and Satires, Divine Poems

George Herbert. Selections from The Temple

Robert Herrick. Selections from Hesperides

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. Selected Poems

Ben Jonson. Selections from The Forrest, Selections from Under-Woods

Aemilia Lanyer. Selected Poems, including “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women” from Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum and “Description of Cooke-ham

Andrew Marvell. Selected Poems, including the Four “Mower” Poems, “To His Coy Mistress,” and “Upon Appleton House”

John Milton. “L’Allegro”/”Il Penseroso,” “Lycidas,” Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes

Katherine Philips. Selected Poems

William Shakespeare. Selected Sonnets

Sir Philip Sidney. Selections from Astrophil and Stella

Edmund Spenser. Selections from Amoretti; Epithalamium; The Faerie Queen, Books I & II or Books III & IV

Sir Thomas Wyatt. Selected Poems


Ben Jonson. Any Two Comedies

Thomas Kyd. The Spanish Tragedy

John Lyly. Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit or Endymion

Christopher Marlowe. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus and Any Other One of His Plays

William Shakespeare. Five Tragedies (for example, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet) (The candidate may substitute a comi-tragedy like Merchant of Venice for one tragedy.)

---. One Romance (for example, The Tempest)

---. Two Comedies (for example, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

---. Two English Histories (for example, Richard II, I Henry IV)

---. One “Latin” Tragedy (for example, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar)

John Webster. The Duchess of Malfi

A candidate may also submit a list of readings to supplement, but not replace, the readings from the core list above. The supplementary list should be submitted for approval with the declaration of intent to take the comprehensive examination form.

Rev. 1 August 2014

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