Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama - ENGL6940

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 30 (15) Rory Loughnane checkmark-circle


The drama of early modern England broke new literary and dramatic ground. This module will focus on key plays across the period. It will explore the development of dramatic writing, the status of playing companies within the London theatres, drama's links to court entertainment and its relationship to the provinces. Dramatic and literary form will be a central preoccupation alongside issues of characterisation, culture, politics, and gender. Shakespeare’s work will be put into context in relation to the plays of his contemporary dramatists as well as the various cultural, historical and material circumstances that influenced the composition, performance and publication of drama in early modern England.


Contact hours

Total contact hours 32
Private study hours 268
Total study hours 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Seminar participation (20%)
Close Reading Exercise (2,500 words) (30%)
Project (2,500 words) (50%)

Reassessment methods:
Alternative Assessment: 100% coursework (4,000 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 read and analyse critically the works of Shakespeare and his contemporary dramatists
2 read and understand the set texts in relation to their relevant literary, theatrical, political, cultural and social contexts
3 demonstrate a critical understanding of the development of drama in the early modern period
4 become conversant with current critical approaches to and debates about the drama and evaluate their appropriateness to their chosen topics

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 demonstrate their abilities to analyse theatrical texts critically and make comparisons across a range of reading
2 demonstrate their command of written and spoken English and their abilities to articulate coherent critical arguments
3 understand and interrogate various critical approaches and the theoretical assumptions that underpin these approaches
4 demonstrate their abilities to carry out independent research
5 demonstrate their presentational skills


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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