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Literature 2: English Literature, ca. 1550-1700



This course is an introduction to one of the richest eras of English literature and to a historical period that, in many ways, marks the beginning of the modern world. Students will familiarize themselves with a broad range of plays, poetry and prose. We will study the language and form of these texts, while at the time looking at the cultural, political and historical contexts by which they were shaped, and which they helped to shape in their turn.

Teaching method

One hour lecture and two hour seminar per week.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students will have gained a basic knowledge of early modern English literature. They are able to analyse the form and language of literary texts from this period, and can relate them to their cultural and historical context. They will also have further developed their academic writing skills.

Required reading

  • Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th edition, vol. 1 or vols. B and C.

  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Oxford edition, ed. Stephen Orgel).

  • William Shakespeare, Othello (Oxford edition, ed. Michael Neill).

  • Martin Gray, A Dictionary of Literary Terms (Longman).

  • Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition (MLA).

Test method

1200-word essay (25%), written test (75%).

Time table

The timetable will be available from June 1st on the Internet.


English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or by mail:


Students can register through U-twist before 15 July. After 15 July students can only register through the Departmental Office.


There will be a Blackboard site available.


The weekly programme is here available