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Spenser's Faerie Queene and the Idea of Epic

Semester and Year SP 2019
Course Number ELEC-GG2835
Section 001
Instructor Susanne Wofford
Days M
Time 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Units 4
Level G


Same as ENGL-GA 2323. Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor (


This course will focus on The Faerie Queene in its wider literary context, including selections from classical epic (Vergil, Ovid), Ariosto, Tasso, and Cervantes. Readings in theory of allegory and ideology will complement a focus on epic. We will explore the relation of pastoral and epic, placing pastoral moments in The Faerie Queene against selections from The Shepheardes Calendar and from Vergil and Theocritus. Some attention will be paid to the visual tradition of representing epic and allegory, including mythological paintings, emblem books, iconography and Renaissance mythography (Cartari, Conti and others). We will rethink the convergences and divergences of epic, allegory and romance as they help to shape questions of gender, nation, ideology and ethics.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Graduate Electives (ELEC-GG)