Approaches to Teaching Shorter Elizabethan Poetry

  • Editors: Patrick Cheney, Anne Lake Prescott
  • Pages: xiv & 331 pp.
  • Published: 2000
  • ISBN: 9780873527538 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873527545 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching Shorter Elizabethan Poetry Cover

“I wish something like this had been available when I started out! But I’m glad it’s available now, because even after twenty years of teaching this poetry I find myself repeatedly instructed and inspired by the wealth of ideas and information Cheney and Prescott have managed to assemble.”

—David Lee Miller, author, The Poem’s Two Bodies: The Poetics of the 1590 Faerie Queene, and coeditor, The Production of English Renaissance Culture

“There is very specific advice about what to do in the classroom useful for both those teaching Elizabethan poetry for the first time and for experienced teachers wanting to vary their repertory.”

—Lauren Silberman, author, Transforming Desire: Erotic Knowledge in Books III and IV of the Faerie Queene

Teaching Elizabethan poems, Patrick Cheney and Anne Lake Prescott tell us in their preface to this book, “can provide pleasure and insight, but it can also be a challenge: modern students, and even modern teachers, sometimes find shorter Elizabethan poems aesthetically or emotionally engaging but culturally remote and intellectually difficult.” This collection of essays presents materials and strategies for helping students and teachers share in the enjoyment of Elizabethan poetry, including verse by authors such as Thomas Campion, John Donne, Michael Drayton, Elizabeth I, George Gascoigne, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Walter Ralegh, Mary Sidney, Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, John Skelton, Edmund Spenser, the earl of Surrey, Mary Wroth, and Thomas Wyatt.

Like other books in the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, this volume is divided into two parts. Part 1, “Materials,” suggests texts and anthologies for use in the classroom and identifies important background resources and critical studies for the instructor. From this profusion of information, the coeditor, Patrick Cheney, recommends a convenient list of items for the instructor in a hurry. Part 2, “Approaches,” contains thirty-seven essays on teaching individual poems and authors or a selection of poems, as well as developing an entire course using a coherent critical narrative.