Studies in Poetry

After the medieval legends of King Arthur, and before modern fantasy novels and role-playing games, lies Spenser’s epic poem, The Faerie Queene. FQ – written by a contemporary of Shakespeare’s – weaves together quests, moral allegory, political argument, apocalyptic vision, gender play and comedy into a sequence of multi-layered stories loosely connected by the youthful Arthur’s search for the Faerie Queene. Each of its major characters seeks to complete a series of tasks and ordeals linked to one of the qualities a perfect man should have. At least, that’s the job the poet initially sets out to do…

Work for the class will include visual plot summaries, short research presentations on student-originated topics, close reading, some instruction focused on Spenser’s language, and a major project with multiple options.