English and drama

Special Author: Christopher Marlowe

Module code: Q3011
Level 6
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

Variously demonised and celebrated as an atheist, sodomite, spy, poetic innovator and dramatic phenomenon, ­and violently killed at the age of 29, ­ Christopher Marlowe and his work still have the power to shock and surprise in the 21st century.

This module will offer the opportunity to explore his extraordinary poetry and drama in its entirety, from his remarkable debut on the professional stage with Tamburlaine, to his invention of the English history play with Edward II, to his development of Ovidian narrative verse and the lyric in English (and their erotic preoccupations).

Exploring the career of this poet and playwright alongside the contexts, content and form of the work he produced, this module will offer a chance to consider in detail this 'most enigmatic genius of the English literary Renaissance'.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the formal and generic developments of a named author's work
  • Understand how the work has been shaped by the social, historical and intellectual contexts in which it was produced.
  • Through critical analysis of a range of the author¿s writing over his/her career, demonstrate an understanding of how his/her literary reputation was established and has been maintained.
  • Organise complex material into an essay that illustrates independent research.