Module Identifier EN30530  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Claire E Jowitt  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Mrs Carol M Marshall, Professor Diane Watt, Mrs Julie A Roberts, Mr Malte Urban, Mr Michael J Smith, Miss Rebecca L Lindner, Mr Stephan Schmuck  
Pre-Requisite EN10320 , EN10420  
Course delivery Lecture   30 Hours 30 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours 10 x 1 hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  75%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2,500 word essay.25%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should typically be able to:

1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a range of texts drawn from the medieval and early modern periods;

2. articulate this knowledge in the form of a reasoned critical analysis of particular texts;

3. locate the texts studied in appropriate literary, historical, and/or cultural contexts;

4. explain and engage with relevant aspects of recent scholarly and/or critical debates about the texts studied.


This module aims:

1. to introduce students to a range of writing in a variety of genres from the late-medieval period the period from 1580 to 1630;

2. to locate this writing in the literary, socio-historical and cultural contexts in which it was produced and read;

3. to encourage students to reflect critically on the texts chosen for special study;

4. to encourage students to explore the relations between literary texts and between texts and their contexts;

5. to encourage students to familiarize themselves with recent critical debates about the writing of these periods.

Brief description

This module provides some useful coordinates from which students may take their bearings about medieval and Renaissance writing through the detailed study of representative texts and major themes. The texts have been selected in order to illustrate the rich variety within and between the dominant literary genres of the period, and to raise and question conflicting versions of cultural history. Themes covered include: foreign and exotic locations; writing about the city; religion; public / private spaces and desires.


Texts and Topics

Strand 1: Late medieval texts (1380-1430)
Lectures will focus on Gender, Power and Romance in the Later Middle Ages (Chaucer, 'The Canterbury Tales': The 'A-fragment'; 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight') and Devotion and Drama in the Later Middle Ages (Margery Kempe and Women Visionaries; Selected Mystery Plays)

Strand 2: Renaissance poetry (1580-1630)
Lecture topics will be related to 'Renaissance Literature: An Anthology' (Blackwell 2003)

Strand 3: Plays from the years 1580-1630
Lectures will focus on Spectacles of State (Christopher Marlowe, 'Tamburlaine' Parts I and II; William Shakespeare, 'Henry IV Part I'; Shakespeare, 'Coriolanus'); Public Worlds/Private Spaces (John Webster, 'The Duchess of Malfi'; Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, 'The Changeling')

Lectures and seminars

The lectures (three per week) are arranged in three independent but thematically interwoven strands (1-3 above). Strand 1 will run throughout the semester (1 lecture per week) in parallel with strand 2 and 3 which will run sequentially (Strand 2 will be two lectures per week in weeks 1-5, strand 3 will be 2 lectures per week in weeks 6-10). The weekly seminar will provide opportunities to discuss texts from all three strands. Each seminar tutor will present a seminar programme including texts from each of the strands.


Assessment is by one x 2,500 word essay on poetry from the years 1580-1630 (strand 2); and by a three-hour, two question examination paper. In the essay, students will be expected to demonstrate some breadth of reading (as explained in the rubric of the question paper). In the examination, students will be expected to answer one question from the two remaining strands: (1) late medieval texts from the years 1380-1430, and (3) plays from the years 1580-1630. At least one examination answer should involve comparison of two or more texts. The essay will contribute 25% of the module mark and the examination will contribute 75%.

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Geoffrey Chaucer (ed. Michael Alexander) The Canterbury Tales: The First Fragment Penguin
W.R.J. Barron (ed. and trans.) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Manchester UP
Margery Kempe (translated B. A. Windeatt), (1985) The Book of Margery Kempe Harmondsworth: Penguin 0140432515
A.C. Cawley (ed.) Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays Everyman
Michael Payne and John Hunter (eds.) Renaissance Literature: An Anthology Blackwell
Christopher Marlowe Doctor Faustus and Other Plays Oxford World's Classics
Ben Jonson (ed. R. B. Parker) Volpone Revels Student Edition
William Shakespeare (ed. E.A.J. Honigmann) Othello Arden
John Webster (ed. Elizabeth M. Brennan) The Duchess of Malfi New Mermaid
Thomas Middleton and William Rowley (ed. Joost Daalder) The Changeling New Mermaid
* OR: Christopher Marlowe (ed. J.S. Cunningham and Eithne Henson) Tamburlaine the Great Revels Student Editions; Manchester UP


This module is at CQFW Level 6