This subject introduces you to the exciting, edgy, and dangerous world of English Renaissance theatre. Focusing on the works of William Shakespeare alongside other contemporary playwrights like Marlowe, Tourneur, Jonson, and Webster, we will explore the material conditions and performance traditions of theatre in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. We will chart the emergence and development of English tragedy during this period, and pay close attention to the theatre’s representations of power, sexuality, marriage, race and cultural difference.
How plays were performed and who made up the audience; the business of the theater; moral censure of the theater and arguments in defense; rivalries among writers and acting companies; masques and royal patronage; the disguising of gender and race; and the theater as topos (e.g., “All the world’s a stage”).
The purpose of this course is to improve students’ skills of literary analysis and critical argumentation as they learn about the vibrant world of English Renaissance theater, and the emergence of one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed dramatist.
Lectures and discussion
Assessment is by 100% coursework, consisting of:
Papers and presentations
There is also a hurdle attendance requirement.
Time management plays a key role in successful university study. Students need to keep in mind that as well as scheduled contact hours for lectures, tutorials and seminars, considerable additional time is needed to complete the academic requirements of each subject.
This course requires a minimum of 8 hours total time commitment a week (3 contact hours; and 5 hours spent for class preparation, reading, and assessment-related tasks.
Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine, Part 1
William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
William Shakespeare, Othello
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi