Ruth McAdams

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20052006 Forum on Word and Image

Ruth McAdams

English, German, Music

College '06

Jonson and Spenser: English in Dialogue with the Past

Ben Jonson’s play Poetaster and Edmund Spenser’s pastoral poems The Shepheardes Calender are two English Renaissance texts acutely aware of and concerned with their place in the literary canon. How did these two legendary Renaissance writers conceive of the classical Latin tradition and use it as a counterpoint to their own understanding of the rapidly expanding English literary works of their day?