Early Modern Literature, 1564-1740 module (EN11006)

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Module code


  • Level 1
  • Semester 2
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 50% Examination 50%
  • Wednesday evening tutorial available 18.00-19.30

This module surveys the development of English Literature from the Early Modern period to the middle of the Eighteenth century in relation to the ideas of the Enlightenment and the emergence of modern culture, with its concerns about identity, gender, religion, and power. The module will explore Early Modern drama, including texts by William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Webster; metaphysical poetry including work by John Donne, Andrew Marvell, John Milton; and the rise of the novel form, including work by Daniel Defoe or Samuel Richardson.


EH12004 (evening version of this module)


The module will be delivered through two weekly one-hour lectures plus weekly one-hour tutorials over eleven weeks.


There are three assessed pieces of work on this module that all count towards the final module mark:

  • Two 1,500 word essays (25% each)
  • One 2-hour examination (50%)


Primary texts:

From The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Vol. 1, ed. by M.H. Abrams, S. Greenblatt, et al., 8th edn. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2006):

  • Christopher Marlowe, Dr Faustus
  • Poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt, Sir Phillip Sidney, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Andrew Marvell & Alexander Pope
  • William Shakespeare, Sonnets
  • John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
  • John Milton, Paradise Lost (Books I & II)
  • Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

Not in The Norton Anthology:

  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe