COM 547 / ENG 530

The Renaissance: The Early Modern ‘I’

Leonard Barkan

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Terms like “self” and “subjectivity” and the question of their historical or transhistorical meaning remain at the heart of literary study in the pre-modern period. With those issues in mind, this seminar focuses on the early modern first person, the “I.” We begin with some classical and medieval precursors, and with critical and theoretical writing on our subject matter. Then we turn to the heart of the matter: Petrarch, Montaigne, Shakespeare, the first two being the great European masters of the first person, the last said to have buried the first person in the voices of his characters.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

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