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Literature 2: English Literature, ca. 1550-1700


Admission requirements



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.

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.


See timetable English### Mode of instruction

A one-hour lecture and a two-hour seminar per week

Course Load

The course load of this course is 140 hours.

Lectures and seminars: 39
Reading material: 61
Essay: 20
Exam preparation: 13
Exam: 3
Tutoring/opportunity to inspect exam: 4 hours.

Assessment method

End-of-term exam (70%)
1200-word essay (30%)
In order to pass the course, students should obtain at least a 6.0 for the essay and a 5.0 for the end-of-term exam.

If the final grade is 5 or less students may only resit the insufficient course component(s).

Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam(s).


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th 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).
Klarer, Mario. An Introduction to Literary Studies. THIRD EDITION (Routledge 2013)


Students cannot register through uSis, but must see the coordinator of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


English Language and Culture departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;
Coordinator of studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.