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Elizabethan and Restoration Drama


Elizabethan and Restoration Drama

Course Outline

This course aims to introduce students to one of the most spectacular ages of English theatre.  Following on from the major productions of William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe during the Elizabethan period, plays from the Jacobean period (under King James at the start of the seventeenth century) and the Restoration Period (after the re-opening of the theatres in 1660) will be studied.  Due to their intriguing plots and masterful use of the English language, many of these plays are still produced today.


Student Requirements

The plays that will be studied during this course were written between 350 and 400 years ago.  During this time, the English language has developed both lexically and grammatically.  Consequently, even for native speakers of English, most of the plays are extremely difficult to understand.  Therefore, during classroom hours, a number of plays will be read and analysed with the instructor in order to facilitate maximum student understanding.  This may take a long time, but a complete understanding of a small number of plays is far more preferable to a limited knowledge of a large number of works.  Consequently, we will be focussing on four plays during the semester.  These are:

Christopher Marlowes Dr.Faustus

William Shakespeares Twelfth Night

Ben Jonsons Volpone

John Websters The Duchess of Malfi

William Congreves The Way of the World

These plays, as mentioned earlier, are extremely difficult to understand and therefore, student attendance is strongly encouraged.



Assessment will be divided into two parts, each accounting for 50% of the students final mark.

(a)    There will be a final exam based on the works studied in class.  Students will be required to answer 6-8 questions about the texts and answers are expected to be paragraph length.  The texts can be used during the exam and quotations taken to support an answer will be rewarded.

(b)   Each student will select one play from the list given by the instructor.  This play will be the students own personal assignment for the semester and an essay of approximately 3000 words (10-12 pages) will be written before the end of the semester.  This assignment should be started immediately and worked on consistantly throughout the semester.  During the semester, there will be two reading weeks in which lessons will not be done.  Instead, students should use this time to discuss the progress of their personal assignments with the instructor. 

Personal Assignments

Each student will select one of the following plays to use as the basis for a 3000 word essay.  Students should take the following information into account when writing their essays. 

(a)    An essay needs an argument/focus.  Retelling the plot of the play is a only a very small part of the essay.  Analysis of the concepts involved is far more important.

(b)   Quotations from the play must be taken to support your argument.

(c)    Secondary sources (i.e. critical articles) must be used.

(d)   The structure of the essay must be of a high standard.

(e)    Under no circumstances must the student copy from another persons work.  Any evidence of copying will lead to an F grade.

The List of Plays

1. Mystery Plays (Rukiye)

2. Morality Plays (Muhammed)

3. Christopher Marlowes Edward II (Tugba.K), The Jew of Malta (Bekir), Tamburlaine I (Esra), Tamburlaine II (Ugur), The Massacre at Paris (Feyza)

4. William Shakespeares Hamlet (Aliye), Antony and Cleopatra (Nilay), Timon of Athens (Tugba.Y), A Midsummer Nights Dream (Necla), Coriolanus (Elif), The Tempest (Zeynep), The Taming of the Shrew (Deniz), Henry IV (Sumeyye), Julius Caeser (Abdulkadir), King Lear (Aysegul), Macbeth (Fatma Ki), Othello (Despina), Romeo and Juliet (Secil), As you like it (Fatma Ka), The Merchant of Venice (Burcu V), The Comedy of Errors (Fadime), Alls Well that Ends Well (Banu). 

5. John Websters White Devil (Idris)

6. Ben Jonsons Bartholomew Fair (Mustafa), The Alchemist (Figen)

7. Thomas Middletons A Trick to Catch the Old One (Hasan), The Revengers Tragedy (Reyyan), A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (Ataman), Women Beware Women (Yavuz Murat), The Changeling (Serkan)

8. William Wycherleys The Country Wife (Nazan)

9.George Ethereges The Man of Mode (Meral)

10. John Drydens All for Love (Burcu S)

11. Thomas Otways Venice Preserved (Merthan)

12. John Vanbrughs The Provoked Wife (Neslihan)

13. George Farquhars The Beaux Stratagem (Lenur)

If the student cannot find the necessary play either in bookstores or on the internet, photocopies may be taken from the instructors books.

This page will be updated whenever necessary

To check changes in the lesson programme:

Information about Classes