Exploring Early Modern Literat
Exploring Early Modern Literature 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 2
This module offers you the opportunity to explore Early Modern English literary writing from the reign of Elizabeth I at the end of the sixteenth century to the first decades of the eighteenth century. The module will begin by introducing you to the theatre of Marlowe and Jonson and their contemporaries, through to the complex poetic worlds of George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, and Aphra Behn. The period witnessed an enormous growth in prose writing in the areas of history, political polemic, and auto/biography, all of which figure in this module. The module guides you through the period of the English Republic and the Restoration of the later Stuart monarchs. As the semester unfolds, you will have the opportunity to read a selection of women’s writing, of erotic and political verse of the period, to explore the tragedies and comedies performed to London audiences, and to explore some early examples of the English novel.
This module's syllabus will be updated each year, but students can expect to cover some of the following themes:
- Early Modern depictions gender and sexuality
- of the city and urban landscapes --theatre and performance
- colonialism and enslavement
- religious and political debates and critiques
Writers studied will vary from year to year, but are likely to include: Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, John Milton, Aphra Behn, John Bunyan, and Margaret Cavendish
Excellent Typically, work graded A- to A** (or 70 to 100) will show many of the following qualities: • Discusses ideas with confidence and precision • Demonstrates maturity and sophistication • Displays deep knowledge of the subject in question; the answer is totally relevant • Shows independent, analytical and clear thought • Gives evidence of substantial and relevant reading • Shows great accuracy in expression, displaying total mastery over all aspects of the language • Shows occasional signs of brilliance and originality of thought • In creative work: displays considerable originality • Command over medium; may have potential for publication/production
Good Typically, work graded B- to B+ (or 60 to 69) will show many of the following qualities: • Discusses ideas adeptly • Most of the arguments about a specific field are well-aired • Displays knowledge of the subject in question; the answer is relevant • Shows analytical and clear thought • Gives evidence of relevant reading • Shows accuracy in expression with mastery over language. • A few minor errors here and there. • Signs of creative thought deserve a higher position within the class • In creative work: shows signs of originality, having understood the requirements of the medium • Plans of well-balanced and full answers, despite some gaps
Satisfactory Typically, work graded C- to C+ (or 50 to 59) will show many of the following qualities: • Discusses ideas, but without much confidence • A respectable effort but not showing any unusual talent; a few flashes of originality here and there • Makes reference to the subject in question, but some important matters not mentioned • Fairly clear thought on most occasions, and the arguments relevant on the whole • Evidence of having read some works associated with the field in question • Quite accurate expression, though the points may sometimes be presented clumsily • Signs of conscientious work deserve a higher position within the class • In creative work: not having quite mastered the requirements of the medium • Evidence of planning in the answers, but a lack of coherence at times; undisciplined and unsure at times
Pass Typically, work graded D- to D+ (or 40 to 49) will show many of the following qualities: • Unsure and lacking in confidence when discussing ideas • Referring to the subject in question in a superficial manner • Making an effort to provide fairly balanced answers • Some points in the argument irrelevant to the topic • Little evidence of background reading • Some uncertainty over language and syntax • Strengths and weaknesses fairly balanced; occasionally clumsy and unimaginative • In creative work: superficial • Not succeeding in mastering the requirements of the medium
- Critically analyse and historicise selected texts from c. 1580 to c. 1700
- Identify and evaluate the significance of genre during the early modern period of English literary writing.
- Offer nuanced assessments of the the relationship between text, context, circumstances of production, literary tradition and ideology.
Presentation A recorded presentation, in which students are asked to provide: a) a Close Reading of 1 extract from 1 of the primary texts studied in weeks 1-5, and b) a Critical Analysis of one of the secondary pieces of scholarship studied in weeks 1-5. Final Essay
A Final Essay, in which students respond to one question from a set of pre-released essay topics. Students will be asked to compare and contrast evidence from 2 texts studied on the module.