Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
French Studies


French 302. Renaissance Literature and Society

Not for a thousand years had there been such an upheaval in Western Europe as in the 16th century, marked by the end of Rome’s hegemony and the consequent fragmentation of Christendom and, paradoxically, by a concomitant rediscovery of the pagan cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. We will consider these and other aspects of the period as we read and discuss the Heptaméron of Marguerite de Navarre; Rabelais’ seriocomical epics Gargantua; and Pantagruel; and selected essays by Montaigne, the inventor of the genre; as well as the poetic badinage of Marot, works of the Lyonnais poet Louise Labé; du Bellay’s Les Regrets; and representative works from the prince of poets, Pierre de Ronsard.