New Course in English for Fall 2013

Mar 8, 2013

ENG 350 Studies in British Literature
Early Modern British Drama: or, Not Shakespeare
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
Dr. Emily Isaacson

Christopher MarloweThis course will introduce students to the drama and general culture of the early modern period in England (the English Renaissance). Students in the course will read a wide variety of plays, written by near-contemporaries of Shakespeare and the playwrights who wrote in his wake. The course will cover a variety of dramatic genres, including revenge tragedies, city comedies, and closet dramas. The work in this course will all be geared toward answering the central question that scholars of early modern English literature ask: What characterizes early modern drama and culture?

Through an examination of primary documents, material culture and early modern ideas about identity, power and the stage, students will be able to articulate an understanding of the concepts “culture,” “drama,” and “early modern.”

Plus, we’re going to read a play where a character comes down with a case of werewolfism. So there’s that.

Tentative reading list:

  • Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy
  • Christopher Marlowe, 1 Tamburlaine the Great
  • Elizabeth Cary, The Tragedy of Mariam
  • Ben Jonson, The Alchemist
  • Thomas Middleton (?), The Revenger’s Tragedy
  • Thomas Middleton, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside
  • John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
  • John Ford, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore

Textbook: English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology. Ed. Bevington, Engle, Maus and Rasmussen

Questions about this course should be directed to Dave Kimmel, English Department Chairperson (

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