Estb. 1882

University of the Punjab

Elizabethan Drama

Code: 310
Title: Elizabethan Drama
Rating: 3 Credit hours
Type: Compulsory
This course focusses on the close reading of Christopher Marlowe's tragic play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus and William Shakespeare’s tragedy – Othello and tragic-comedy – The Winter’s Tale.
Christopher Marlowe was a radically creative dramatic and poetic genius whose plays changed the course of English drama and paved the way for Shakespeare. His daring themes put Renaissance taboos such as atheism and necromancy on stage for public debate. This course considers Doctor Faustus in relation to Marlowe's own reputation and asks whether the play criticises or seeks to arouse audience sympathy for its protagonist, who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 24 years of power and pleasure.
Many consider William Shakespeare the greatest dramatist—even the greatest writer—of all time. His impact on Western culture and language is unmistakable, but his works have also been continuously read and performed around the world, illustrating his global significance. This course will attempt to determine why his works have become so widely revered, or why they seem, to quote Ben Jonson, “not for an age, but for all time.”
Students should:
familiarise with the characteristics of Medieval morality and Renaissance plays;
demonstrate an understanding of such literary terms, themes, strategies, and issues as are relevant to the works being studied;
express their understanding of the relationship between literature and the historical/cultural contexts in which it was written;
effectively utilise contemporary criticism, text, and history as ways of providing a context for understanding of different facets of Marlovian and Shakespearian drama, and
analyse Marlowe’s and Shakespeare’s works through discussion and writing.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
examine genre and analyse the tragedies;
consider themes or issues explored in the plays;
read historically and explore connections between Doctor Faustus and the historical period in which it was written;
describe Elizabethan England in social and historical context;
list the major figures who likely shaped the work of Shakespeare.
define Shakespearean tragedy and tragi-comedy, and
identify and describe the major themes of Shakespearean tragedy.
Mid-term: 35%
End-term: 40%
Class participation and presentations: 25%
Credit hours/ Marks:- 03

Reference Books

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