Reading Western Literature

Subject ENST10002 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1.5-hour seminars per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.


Admission to the BA (Extended)



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

100-190 Reading Western Literature

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Rebecca Lucas


Michael Heald

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the major genres of Western literature - drama, poetry and prose fiction. Students will analyse different styles of literature within these genres, such as Shakespearean tragedy, elegy and short story. Students will develop an understanding of literature in relation to historical contexts and perspectives. In particular, students will consider literature as a vehicle for social and political change, and as a widely accessible and cultural medium. The literature wil be read from various critical approaches including colonial/postcolonial critique and feminist perspectives, and conventional literary notions such as the 'Other' will be explored through comparative analysis. Analysis will involve understanding elements of narrative structure such as theme, character, time, narrative voice, context, and being able to explain other writing devises such as methaphor, connotation and intertextuality.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • accomplished a foundational survey of Western literature through the close study of key texts in different genres and different historical contexts;
  • acquired an appreciation of how fictional representations are sources of historical, social, political knowledge;
  • developed a methodological understanding of how literature is constructed, and have the ability to identify and explain literary devices;
  • developed critical reading skills based in conventional Western literary analysis.

Written work comprising a text-based exercise 20% (due early in semester), an essay of 1200 words 30% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2000 words 40% (due in the examination period). Attendance and participation worth 10%. Participation will include submission of a weekly written paragraph which will not be graded but will be returned with comments. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All assessment must be completed in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Students will be provided with a reader for the subject.

  • Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Oxford School Shakespeare, Oxford University Press.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who successfully complete this subject will develop skills in the following areas:

  • Critical and creative thinking;
  • Oral communication;
  • Collaborative and individual learning;
  • Research essay writing;
  • Interdisciplinary thinking.

This subject is only available to students enrolled in the BA (Extended)

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Extended)

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