• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

In the popular imagination, drama is the dominant artistic form of the English Renaissance. However, the period in which works by Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Jonson were being written and performed for the public stage was remarkably brief. What cultural, material, and political conditions were conducive to this creative productivity? In what physical and social spaces were the plays staged? This course concentrates on reading Renaissance plays with a theatrical imagination. The aim is to develop an awareness of the living contingencies of their contexts of origin and to consider their legacies in the modern understanding of the term ‘drama’. Playwrights to be studied include Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, and Elizabeth Cary.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Read closely and understand a range of plays from the English Renaissance repertoire.
  2. Recognise aspects of dramatic form characteristic of Renaissance drama.
  3. Analyse a Renaissance play-text in the light of information about its original context.
  4. Experiment with interpreting the dramatic text through staging exercises using clear verbal directions and explanations.
  5. Synthesise original analysis with scholarly critique in an extended piece of writing on the subject of Renaissance drama.

Indicative Assessment

2 x 500 word scene analyses (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]

2000 word (equivalent) presentation of director’s notes/dramaturgical footnote for staging scene (30%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]

3000 word workshop-blog participation (10%) revised for journal/essay (30%) [Learning Outcomes 4, 5]

Workshop and lecture participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 3, 4]

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1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 2 hour workshop, plus 7 hours of associated study each week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of English (ENGL) or Drama (DRAM) Courses. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

'English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology', David Bevington (ed) 2002.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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