Love and Death in the Renaissance
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
18 March 2022
Requisites for this module
BA Q300 English Literature,
BA Q303 English Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q320 English Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q321 English Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q210 English and Comparative Literature,
BA Q211 English and Comparative Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q212 English and Comparative Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q218 English and Comparative Literature (Including Foundation Year)
A century of religious, philosophical and political turmoil, the Renaissance was also the age of the great flourishing of the English stage and English verse.
In this module you will study Renaissance love poetry and learn about the sonnet, court literature, and the circulation of manuscripts. You will learn about the great writers of the canon, and some less familiar figures too, such as the female writers, who appropriated literary forms conventionally associated with men, and turned them to their own ends.
Moving from the focus on “love”, to the darker theme of “death”, some of the most extraordinary literature of this time is engaged with the religious turmoil and culture of martyrdom associated with the Reformation.
Finally, bringing these themes together, this module also explores Renaissance innovation in the theatre, and the revenge play, in which love, desire and death are intermingled and intertwined to horrifying effect.
Module content note: topics include traumas such as suicide, racism, rape, emotional and physical violence, and death. Please contact the Module Supervisor Dr. P. Gillies if you have any questions.
The aim of the module is:
1. to provide an understanding of significant influences on early-modern writing
2. to provide an overview of the literature of the period, introducing students to many of the most important authors and genres of the sixteenth century.
3. to focus on women writers, as appropriate, in early-modern literature.
By the end of the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of a wide variety of writing in several important genres from c. 1540 - c. 1640.
2. Critically evaluate and analyse particular literary works with an informed understanding of the historical period which produced them
3. Demonstrate the ability to research an essay using primary and secondary texts, and unedited sixteenth-century texts (via Early English Books Online)
No additional information available.
Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar
Shakespeare, W. and Weis, R. (2012) Romeo and Juliet
. [London]: Arden Shakespeare. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/universityofessex-ebooks/detail.action?docID=6160351
Sidney, P. and Duncan-Jones, K. (2002) ‘Astrophil and Stella’, in The major works. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Donne, J. and Carey, J. (2008) John Donne: the major works. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Webster, J. (2015) The Duchess of Malfi: an authoritative text, sources and contexts, criticism
. First edition. Edited by M. Neill. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Available at: https://app.kortext.com/Shibboleth.sso/Login?entityID=https://idp0.essex.ac.uk/shibboleth&target=https://app.kortext.com/borrow/160906
Shakespeare, W. (2005) Titus Andronicus
. Edited by B.A. Mowat and P. Werstine. New York, NY: Washington Square Press. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/universityofessex-ebooks/detail.action?docID=4933948
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Essay (2,000 words)
Exam format definitions
- Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
- In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary,
for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.
Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Patricia Gillies, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Patricia Gillies
LiFTS General Office, email: email@example.com
Telephone 01206 - 872626
Dr Doug Haynes
University of Sussex
Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture
Available via Moodle
Of 24 hours, 24 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.
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