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  1. Introduction/aims/background: early modern literature and culture 0 items
    The aim of Part 1 of this study block is to introduce you to the study of writing from the English Renaissance (generally seen as c. 1450-1650), also known as the ‘early modern’ period. This is a particularly rich and vibrant period in English culture – not only in drama for which the period is renowned – but also in poetry and prose. The changes in the period also encompass intellectual and cultural developments, momentous religious upheavals, geographical and scientific discoveries, and a changing relationship with Europe and its culture. It culminates in a short-lived experiment in English republicanism following upon the execution of Charles I (1649). It is impossible to cover such a rich period in one short unit, so the course aims to give you a taste of what is available, concentrating on drama, but provides ways of approaching the period and also English as a university subject. The texts we have chosen are designed to foreground key areas and approaches to the study of this period (which also have a wider application in English literary studies), especially the use of history and different historical contexts, genre, identity, politics, space, religion, gender and sexuality. The texts also form several thematic groupings which will help you understand common ideas in the period: Classical writing and rewriting: intertextuality, Renaissance genres, History and writing, Gender and sexuality, Space, identity, and ‘othering’.
  2. Learning Outcomes 0 items
    There are learning outcomes that you must achieve in order to be awarded the credits for this study block. By the end of this study block, you should be able to: • Read and analyse closely a range of early modern texts (four early modern plays and other texts, including Venus and Adonis and extracts from Machiavelli, Castiglione, and others), paying attention to language, verse or prose forms (as appropriate), tone and register, intertextual allusions, and to use these skills in identifying appropriate evidence to explore the critical and intellectual issues in selected early modern texts. • Define and describe the concept and function of genre; • Demonstrate an awareness of historical contextualisation (i.e., texts in relation to other products and events of the time); • Identify and explore critically key cultural concepts in the writings of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and demonstrate how these concepts are presented and developed in a variety of early modern texts • Interpret different kinds and types of writings as texts in contexts, and demonstrate an ability to approach a text from different theoretical and intellectual perspectives.
  3. Method of teaching 0 items
    You are expected to attend all sessions. You will need to bring the relevant text (see reading list) to each class and any other preparation as listed on Blackboard each week or as arranged with your tutor. Methods include: • Weekly lectures • Library/research tasks • Whole group workshops • Seminar groups Other scheduled activities for the study block include: • Film screenings Individual tutorials can be arranged during office hours, by appointment with Dr Evenden-Kenyon.
  4. Term 1 Teaching Programme 24 items
    1. Block 1: Reading Early Modern Texts 4 items
      1. Week 1 2 items
        1. Introduction to the module


        2. Staging the audience

      2. Week 2 2 items
        1. Introduction to Elizabethan prose

        2. An anthology of Elizabethan prose fiction - Robert Greene

          Chapter Essential reading Read pp 151-204, Pandosto The Triumph of Time (1588)

    2. Block 2: Reading Genre 4 items
      1. Week 3 3 items
        1. Film screening La Reine Margot, directed by Patrice Chéreau

        2. La reine Margot - Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Patrice Châereau 2000 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document Essential reading

        3. An anthology of Elizabethan prose fiction

          Chapter Essential reading Read 'Pandosto: The Triumph of Time' by Robert Greene, pp. 151-204.

      2. Week 4 1 item
        1. The Winter's tale - William Shakespeare, John H. P. Pafford 1963

          Book Essential reading

    3. Block 3: Reading in Context 1 3 items
      1. Week 5 3 items
        1. Film screening: The Winter's Tale (RSC)

        2. Titus Andronicus - William Shakespeare, Jonathan Bate 2006

          Book Essential reading

        3. Staging Early Modern Violence

      2. Week 6 0 items
        To be confirmed.

    5. Block 4: Reading in Context 2 7 items
      1. Week 8 4 items
        1. The prince - Niccoláo Machiavelli, Quentin Skinner, Russell Price 1988

          Book Essential reading Alternative editions in stock at the same shelf mark.

        2. Renaissance Machiavels

        3. Film screening: Titus, directed by Julie Taymor (feat. Anthony Hopkins)

        4. Titus - Julie Taymor, William Shakespeare 2005 (videorecording)

          Book Essential reading

      2. Week 9 3 items
        1. King James VI, Daemonologie and Witchcraft in Early Modern England

        2. Daemonologie, in forme of a Dialogue, Divided into three Bookes - James I, King of England, 1566-1625 1597

          Book Essential reading

        3. The book of the courtier - Baldassare Castiglione, Thomas Hoby 1974

          Book Essential reading Alternative edition in stock at the same shelf mark.

    6. Block 5: Reading in History 5 items
      1. Week 10 2 items
        1. The Spanish tragedy - Thomas Kyd, Andrew Gurr, J. R. Mulryne 2009

          Book Essential reading

        2. Representing Spaniards in Early Modern England (Research in Action)

      2. Week 11 2 items
        1. Shakespeare's poems: Venus and Adonis, the rape of Lucrece and the shorter poems - William Shakespeare, Katherine Duncan-Jones, H.R. Woudhuysen 2007

          Book Essential reading

        2. The uses of poetry for prestige

      3. Week 12: End of term event (TBC)

  5. Reading list 10 items
    1. Term 1 (Early Modern Literature) 5 items
      1. Titus Andronicus - William Shakespeare, Jonathan Bate 2006

        Book Core (purchase required)

      2. Shakespeare's poems: Venus and Adonis, the rape of Lucrece and the shorter poems - William Shakespeare, Katherine Duncan-Jones, H.R. Woudhuysen 2007

        Book Core (purchase required) Read Venus and Adonis.

      3. The Spanish tragedy - Thomas Kyd, Andrew Gurr, J. R. Mulryne 2009

        Book Core (purchase required)

      4. Literary extracts supplied through Blackboard Learn.

      5. Please use these and ONLY these editions and make sure you bring them along with you to the relevant lectures and seminars. We will make extensive reference to them and to their introductions, annotations, and appendices.


        If you choose not to purchase the preferable edition of The Spanish Tragedy, please check with Dr Evenden-Kenyon as to the suitability of the edition you plan to use before purchase.


        Kindle editions are not suitable for academic study due to the difficulty in retrieving footnotes and page numbers.


        We cannot stress too much how important it is to have the right annotated edition of the plays and the texts we are working on both to read as part of your self-directed reading and with you in lectures and classes. You are unlikely to be able to follow lectures and classes unless you have these texts, and you will be at a significant disadvantage in understanding the texts which will be likely to affect your results for the unit.

        Many of these texts are available second-hand through Amazon and Abebooks but do take care with the condition of the books on offer and also the postage rates. Some dealers over-charge for postage.

      (A list of further reading will be provided at the start of the course and secondary reading for each topic will be provided as we progress.)
      1. Playgoing in Shakespeare's London - Andrew Gurr 2004

        Book Recommended reading

      2. The Shakespearean stage, 1574-1642 - Andrew Gurr c2009

        Book Recommended reading

      3. This stage-play world: texts and contexts, 1580-1625 - Julia Briggs 1997

        Book Recommended reading

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