Renaissance Literature

Course Length: Full academic year (30 weeks)
This Year's ScheduleClick here to view

Aims of the Course

The main aims of this course are to dive deep into the great flowering of English literature of the Tudor/Stuart period, studying works of Shakespeare, Spenser, and Milton among others. We'll cover More's Utopia, a book from The Faerie Queene, a selection of Shakespeare's plays and his sonnets, Pilgrim's Progress, and Paradise Lost

We'll look at more than just learning the stories of these texts, teasing out differences between tragedy vs comedy and diving into literary analysis. In addition, we'll sprinkle in stuff about what it was like in pre-modern prisons, why sonnet writers seemed fascinated by time, how directors can change the meaning of a play through their interpretations, what was behind this drive to write the great English epic, and more!

Homework Expectations

As in all the English courses at Dreaming Spires, the homework each week is to read about 50-60 pages of text, write a short summary, answer three short discussion questions, and attend a one-hour webinar where, mostly, I talk and students type in the chatbox. Three times a year, they will be assigned presentations to take over some of the teaching (the best of learning, right?).

Add-On Options

The add-on writing extension for this course uses our main texts to focus on literary analysis, learning both the skills of essay writing and how to identify techniques found in poetry, prose, and drama. The homework for this averages 2 hours a week, and when combined with the main course, affords any US student an “honors” designation on their completion certificate.

How It Supports Your Child's Education

For UK students and others doing UK-style IGCSE exams, the add-on writing has been specifically designed to support the CAIE English Literature exam. The set texts for the exam changes year on year, but the skills for answering the questions are the same regardless the book one reads, and for that reason, we focus on the skills that one can transfer to their chosen texts. Should a student desire tuition on the specific exam texts, then there are the crammer courses for this exam that I offer at three points through the year.

For US students, this course provides one credit for high school English. The course is designed for students as young as 12 or 13, though it is recommended for students of that age to have taken a previous Dreaming Spires course of any subject, or to have strong reading skills.

Who Teaches Renaissance Literature?

Dr. Kat Patrick now resides in her home state of Texas with her four children, all of whom are Dreaming Spires students. Before that, she lived for 25 years in England. Her background includes an MA from Durham (UK), a PhD from Delaware (US), and a UK PGCE teaching certificate, all in the subject of English. She continues to examine for both the Cambridge Assessment International Education and Oxford, Cambridge, RSA examinations boards for both IGCSE and A-level. Her revision guide is available to purchase via Amazon.
See all courses taught by Kat