At the outset of the 16th century, Europeans tended to dismiss English ...
At the outset of the 16th century, Europeans tended to dismiss English literature as inferior to continental literary traditions; the educated Englishman was obliged to travel to the continent and speak in other languages in order to culture himself. By the end of the Renaissance, however, some of the greatest works in the English language from Shakespeare's dramas to Thomas More's Utopia had been written. In this course, the student will read and examine these works, situating them within their socio-historical and literary contexts, while attempting to determine how the art of English language and letters came into its own during this dynamic period. (English Literature 202)