British Literature and Culture: The Poetics of Entertainment

"Entertain" now means “amuse” or “divert,” but in the Middle Ages and Renaissance it meant, more seriously, “hold together” in community. We will explore poetic “entertainment” as it evolved from before the Conquest (1066) through the Restoration (1660). Recurring themes include hospitality, gift-exchange, love, marriage, festival, politics, and friendship, all involving gender, class, and nationality. Our topic will also entail exploring what has made works canonical and the contribution of the canon to our own sense of community. Texts include Beowulf, Gawain and the Green Knight, and works by Marie de France, Chaucer, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Jonson, Wroth, Donne, and Milton.

9:30am-10:45am on Tuesday, Thursday (Sep 9, 2013 to Dec 6, 2013)
Axinn Center 229