Eng 332 - Tudor Prose and Poetry
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The Questions

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The Questions

The Questions
These large areas of inquiry represent issues that surface time and again in sixteenth-century texts produced in England. They are intended to instigate individual lines of investigation, not cut them off.  Over the course of the semester, your responsibility to the communal project  is to develop, expand, revise, and/or add to these general topics, if possible/necessary, as your interest and new-found knowledge suggests is appropriate.  Your responsibility to your own individual work is to find within these general topics a specific question or set of questions that you would like to find answers to by the end of the semester.  An example of a specific line of inquiry might be to explore the role of Elizabeth I, as female monarch, in an age that worked very hard to stifle female assertiveness in areas of power and influence.
  • How was it perceived?
  • Who used it and for what purposes?
  • How do words in print, for readers, differ from listeners of the spoken word?
  • What is the best way to learn to use language?
  • What is the role of literature ["poesy"] in the life of the culture?
  • Which language should be used for which purposes?
  • Who are we as a nation?
  • Where have we come from?
  • Who am I?
  • What am I called?
  • How can I be in the world?

Sample line of inquiry: In an era of accepted anti-feminist attitudes, how is it that Elizabeth I was not only an able and long-lived monarch, but a Queen that some say was the best to ever rule England?  How was she able to not only keep her head and her crown but preside over the greatest flowering of literature that the English speaking world has seen in a culture that was rapidly changing around her?  What are the cultural/political consequences of a female ruler on the governance of the nation?


  • What is the true faith?
  • Who should lead the faithful?
  • What is at stake when choices must be made?
  • What kind of ruler is best?
  • Who should rule?
  • How should the people relate to their ruler?
  • What is "history"?
  • What is the Renaissance sense of the past?
  • How is history constructed?
  • How should it be read?

Last update: Friday, August 11, 2000 at 9:00:29 AM.
Dr. Janet Wright Starner || Writing Center Director || Assistant Professor/English || Wilkes University