ENG-10029 - Playing Parts: Studying Drama and Poetry
Coordinator: Rebecca Yearling Room: CBB2.061 Tel: +44 1782 7 34282
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

How do authors create and manipulate different voices within their texts? How autobiographical is literary writing? What influence might the reader or audience have on dramatic and poetic texts? What new meanings can a text take on in performance? Playing Parts aims to introduce students to the critical study and evaluation of drama and poetry through close attention to issues of performance, voice and style. Focusing on the development of different styles of poetry and drama between the seventeenth century and the present day, it will encourage a reading of literary texts with respect to the historical, formal, and cultural contexts informing them. Authors studied might include: William Shakespeare, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Philip Larkin, Robert Browning, Caryl Churchill, and Oliver Goldsmith.

Preliminary Reading:
You will find it helpful to have read at least some of the texts before starting the module. Also, for general introductions to studying poetry and drama, see Mick Wallis & Simon Shepherd, Studying Plays (London: Arnold, 1998); and Rhian Williams, The Poetry Toolkit: The Essential Guide to Studying Poetry (London: Continuum, 2009).

To familiarize students with the distinctive characteristics of poetry and drama.
To enable students to carry out close analysis of a range of poetry and drama by a number of authors from different historical periods.
To equip students with a knowledge of key literary concepts and terminology with respect to poetry and drama.
To provide students with a knowledge of the historical development of poetry and drama from the seventeenth century to the present.
To familiarize students with key modes of writing within poetry and drama such as lyric, satire, comedy, modern and post-modern.
To provide students with an awareness of the relationship between socio-historical contexts and literary meaning in poetry and drama.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

identify the distinctive features of a range of poetic and dramatic modes such as lyric, satiric, comic, modern and postmodern: 2
engage in close textual analysis of a range of styles of poetry and drama by different writers: 2
articulate key concepts in poetic and dramatic theory and relate these to literary texts: 1,2
demonstrate an awareness of the relationship between socio-historical contexts and the production of meaning in poetry and drama: 1,2
show a knowledge of the relationship between the concepts of authors, voice, characters and reader/audience in poetry and drama: 1,2
demonstrate a sensitivity to the complexity of literary language and critical discourse: 1,2
demonstrate an ability to construct a clear and convincing argument using reasoning, analysis and judgement: 1,2
demonstrate a knowledge of the historical development of poetry and drama: 2

Study hours

Lectures (10 hours)
Small group classes (10 hours)
Seminar preparation and private study (75 hours)
Exam writing (2 hours)
Exam preparation preparation (42 hours)
Formative exercise preparation and writing (10 hours)
Essay feedback (1 hour)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Short Paper weighted 30%
close reading of a scene from a play or a short poem
Students will be asked to analyse a scene from a play or a short poem with attention to key aspects of poetic/dramatic genres. Word-count - 1200 words (+/- 10%).

2: Seen Exam weighted 70%
2-hour exam; candidates to answer 2 questions
The exam paper will ask students to examine works of poetry and drama studied on the course, bringing in relevant discussion of genre, socio-historical contexts and poetic/dramatic theory.