ENG 316: Early Modern Drama


Dr. Rankin 3 credits

          This course offers a comprehensive introduction to non-Shakespearean drama of the early modern period (1500-1642). We will begin our study with the morality play tradition during its final flowering under Henry VIII and will proceed chronologically through to the closing of the theatres in 1642. Emphases will include Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy, humoural and city comedy, the relationship between the staging of Renaissance plays and the emergence of plays in printed editions, the function of dramas as entertainment as well as political counsel, and more. By undertaking readings in non-Shakespearean comedy, history, and tragedy produced from the 1580s through 1630s, students will gain understanding of the dramatic conventions of the Shakespearean age. The course will emphasize terminology and techniques associated with the literary analysis of drama. It will also introduce students to skills associated with the editing of early modern play texts in modern critical editions.
          English 316 satisfies the genre & theory and period category requirements for the English major (pre-fall 2011) and both the intermediate and overlay requirements (i.e., literature before 1700 or literature before 1900) for the English major (fall 2011 and after).

Required Course Texts:
English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology, ed. David Bevington, et. al. (W.W. Norton, 2002)
Ben Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, ed. Robert S. Miola (Manchester University Press, 2008)
Heywood, Thomas. The First and Second Parts of King Edward IV, ed. Richard Rowland ( Manchester University Press,                 2005)
A course packet of primary source readings

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