ENG 403: Advanced Studies in British Literature Post-1700:
The Drama and Culture of the Restoration


Dawn Goode 3 credits

          This course will limit its focus to the drama of the Restoration period, typically identified as the years between 1660-1700. Following the English Civil War, and for the subsequent twenty-year rule of the Puritans, English theaters were closed. When the theaters reopened after the restoration of the Stuarts to the throne, the London stage came to represent the transformation of England: actresses, female playwrights, colonial expansion, the changing class system, and shifting views on sexuality and gender made their way across the stage. In this course, we will explore the major plays, players, and playhouses from this era in conjunction with a thorough and in-depth historical contextualization.  We will explore the causes and ramifications of the English Civil War, the Restoration and reign of Charles II, the period’s rampant Anti-Catholicism, the political division between newly forming political parties, the “Bloodless” Revolution, and the social, cultural, and scientific realities of Restoration life.  In terms of genre, we will investigate—social and subversive comedy; heroic, political, and personal tragedy; corrective satire; she-tragedy; and the tragicomic Romance.

          This is an upper-level English course and as such will focus upon improving your close reading skills, your recognition of how historical / cultural realities are both reflected in and shape the period’s drama, and finally, and improving your ability to write argumentative and persuasive critical essays ranging from 1-single spaced page to 15-20 double spaced pages. 

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