Renaissance Drama

Subject ENGL40024 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 120-hours across the semester, including class time.


Admission into the BH-ARTS Bachelor of Arts (Honours) or PD-ARTS Postgraduate Diploma in Arts, specialising in English and Theatre Studies.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


David McInnis

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to a variety of Renaissance dramatic genres (morality plays, travel plays, comedies of humours, history plays, domestic tragedies, satire, and tragedy), and in so doing, examines issues pertaining to the occult, religion, foreignness, politics and the early modern household. It focuses on plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries not only in terms of aesthetics but of the commercial exigencies of the early modern theatrical marketplace. It develops an historically informed conception of the London stage by treating plays as marketable commodities and part of a repertory of offerings used to compete with other companies and attract playgoer patronage. Shakespeare is treated as an outstanding playwright but also as a shareholder in his own company, with a vested interest in its commercial success.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • a familiarity with the way that competitive commercial impulses affected the production of drama in the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods;
  • developed a close understanding of a variety of Shakespearean and non-Shakespearean plays;
  • the ability to apply various reading strategies as required by specific texts and contexts;
  • gained some understanding of significant developments in Shakespearean criticism over the past four centuries; and
  • a better appreciation of the critical processes which have led to the canonisation of Shakespeare’s work.

One essay of 5000 words, due in the examination period, 100%. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, Jew of Malta;

Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Othello;

Dekker, Old Fortunatus; Jonson, Every Man Out of His Humour, Volpone;

Heywood, A Woman Killed with Kindness;

Barnabe Barnes, The Devil’s Charter.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • the ability to communicate knowledge in oral, written and creative forms;
  • the ability to manage their time through productive use of time and responding to deadlines;
  • the ability to think and work creatively and apply imagination in responding to tasks;
  • the ability to think critically and analyse through recommended reading, performance analysis and discussion.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English and Theatre
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies

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