A couple of reminders first:

  • If you’d like your own copy of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, order it now–the Arden version, 3rd edition, edited by John Pitcher–so that it will arrive in time: Here’s the link.
  • Your first paper is due, both hard copies and via email, on Tuesday, February 28, at 1PM in class.

For this class we will look into rhetoric and its relationship to lyric and lyrics, poetry and music. First is an overview of what rhetoric means and how it was studied, especially in early modern England. Then you have brief readings on rhetoric in music. Finally, you’ll read Sidney’s Defence of Poesy which is in the form of a rhetorical oration. It seeks to persuade the reader as to why poetry is valuable. This class, perhaps more than any others we’ve had so far, will work to combine poetry and music as one enterprise.

Your assignments for next Friday, February 24:

  • Choose a sonnet by Sidney or Spenser and paraphrase it (put it in your own words) line by line. Bring this to class. We will read some of them out loud, and you will turn it in with some writing from class.
  • Read this brief overview of rhetoric: Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms, “Rhetoric”.
  • Read this selection on rhetoric in music in the late Renaissance period: Palisca, Music and Ideas, “Music and Rhetoric,” 203-204. Note that these trends build up to opera that we discussed in the last class.
  • Skim/read these five and a half pages for a synthesis of how Sidney’s ideas and music come together: Introduction to Sidney, Music, & Moving.
  • Read the selection from the introduction to Sidney’s Apology for Poetry, pp. 11-16. This outlines how the Apology is organized as an oration and tells you what is in each section. Pay attention to the outline. I am allowing you to use it to get an overview rather than reading Sidney’s entire essay.
  • Read the exordium, narration, proposition, and peroration sections of Sidney’s Apology (with the tail end of the refutation too) or pp. 95-101, 140-42. Sidney, Apology for Poetry, ed. Shepherd. Note that you have the entire essay in the file, and you’re welcome to look through other sections should you choose. Pay particular attention to
    • why Sidney says poetry is the highest form of persuasion. What do you think of his argument?
    • the form of the Apology as oratory following a classical rhetorical model.
    • how music relates to poetry.
  • Review Sidney’s Eighth Song and Sonnet 91 from Astrophil and Stella.