Undergraduate Course: Early Modern Tragedy (ENLI10368)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course examines a wide range of Elizabethan and Jacobean tragic drama, including plays by Marlowe, Shakespeare, Carey, Middleton and Webster. It will explore variety of tragic modes in the period--including revenge drama, 'heroic' tragedy, closet theatre, tragi-comedy and domestic tragedy'as well as the range of theatrical contexts and staging practices that developed across the sixteenth and seventeenth century.
Tragedy engages with some of the most urgent, as well as enduring, problems that societies and individuals face. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were one of the great periods of tragic composition and this course will explore some of its most significant examples. The course will stress the variety of tragic modes--including revenge drama, historical and ¿heroic¿ tragedy, closet drama, and domestic tragedy¿as well as the range of theatrical contexts and staging practices that developed across the Elizabethan and Jacobean period. In tragic drama, early modern dramatists explored how different societies experienced crisis and the political and ethical problems this exposed: questions of power and sovereignty, religious, cultural and racial difference, justice and injustice, mortality and loss, sexual hierarchy and social inequality, political conformity and resistance, liberty and oppression. The course will consider how dramatists responded to these key concerns and it will also examine different conceptual understandings of tragedy.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||A MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as cross disciplinary, "Freshman Seminars", civilisation or creative writing classes are not considered for admission to this course.
Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having four or more literature classes at grade A.
** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Other Study Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
one hour per week Autonomous Learning Group
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||2500 word coursework essay (40%) submitted in week 9;
plus 3000 word final essay submitted during exam period at end of semester (60%).
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of and critical engagement with the principal modes of Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy.
- demonstrate an awareness of the key critical debates elicited by early modern tragedy.
- demonstrate awareness of the key political and ethical debates relevant to the period's tragic theatre.
- analyse tragic drama in the context of changing social and theatrical conventions.
- demonstrate the ability to reflect constructively on the development of their own learning and research practice.
Forms of revenge
Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy
Deviance and punishment
Christopher Marlowe, Edward II
Anonymous, Arden of Faversham
Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine
Elizabeth Cary, The Tragedy of Mariam
Power and sexuality
John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
John Ford, ¿Tis Pity She¿s a Whore
English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology, ed. David Bevington et al. New York: Norton, 2002.
Hamlet, ed. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor, Arden Shakespeare, 2nd ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.
Bushnell. Rebecca W (ed) A Companion to Tragedy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.
Drakakis, John and Tragedy. Harlow: Longman, 1998.
N C Leiber (eds).
Eagleton, Terry. ¿What is tragedy?¿ Extract from Terry Eagleton,Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.
Holbrook, Peter. English Renaissance tragedy: Ideas of Freedom. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.
Hoxby, Blair. What Was Tragedy? Theory and the Early Modern Canon. Oxford: Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015.
Kerrigan, John. Revenge Tragedy: Aeschylus to Armageddon. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.
McEachern Claire (ed) The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Neill, Michael and The Oxford Handbook to Shakespearean Tragedy.
David Schalkwyk (eds) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Smith, Emma and
Garret A. Sullivan (eds). The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Wallace, Jennifer. The Cambridge Introduction to Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Woodbridge, Linda. English Revenge Drama: Money, Resistance, Equality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
|Course organiser||Prof James Loxley
Tel: (0131 6)50 3610
|Course secretary||Miss Hope Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)50 4167