ENG-30083 - Violence and death in Shakespeare's theatre
Coordinator: Rebecca Yearling Room: CBB2.061 Tel: +44 1782 7 34282
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2019/20

English Combined Honours (Level 6)
English Major (Level 6)
English Minor (Level 6)
English Single Honours (Level 6)
English and American Literatures Single Honours (Level 6)
English with Creative Writing Single Honours (Level 6)
Liberal Arts Single Honours (Level 6)
Liberal Arts Single Honours (Masters) (Level 6)

Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2019/20

This module is designed to give students a deeper understanding both of early modern drama and the social, political and cultural contexts that shaped it. Students will explore the complex relationships between literature and society, and consider the appeal of fictional violence both for Renaissance theatre-goers and for modern-day spectators.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

assess critically the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries: 1,2,

demonstrate the ability to make use of early modern contextual material and modern criticism in their assessment of early modern drama┐s treatment of violent action: 1,2,

conceive and formulate effective arguments about literary and dramatic texts: 1,2,

come to a greater understanding of the relationship between literary texts and the cultures in which they are produced: 1,2,

Study hours

20 hours seminars
60 hours seminar preparation
70 hours assessment preparation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Commentary weighted 30%
Critical analysis
Students will choose a short extract (120 lines maximum) from one of the plays studied so far on the module and analyse its treatment of violent action. They may choose to explore such questions as: how do the characters within the play respond to the act of violence? How do they understand or interpret it? Is there any disagreement within the play regarding how to respond? How (if at all) is the violence in the extract related to such issues as gender or race or nationality? Is the violence like or unlike the violence that was common or familiar to spectators within Shakespeare┐s own society? How might an early modern spectator have responded to it, and why? 1000-1200 words.

2: Essay weighted 70%
2500-word essay
Students will write an essay on early modern drama and its relationship to its wider cultural contexts. They will either choose their own title or pick one from a suggested list. They will be required to show evidence of independent thinking, research into secondary materials and critics, and close reading.