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Shakespeare and the English Renaissance, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Shakespeare och den engelska renässansen

This syllabus is valid: 2023-01-02 and until further notice

Course code: 1EN056

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: English: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Language Studies

Revised by: Head of Department of Language Studies, 2022-09-14


The course is focused on English Renaissance drama and poetry with a focus on William Shakespeare. The works are read in relation to historical and cultural currents during the period 1400-1600. How these Renaissance texts have lived on and been re-interpreted up until today is a central issue.

Expected learning outcomes

To be awarded a Pass grade, the student should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding

  • give a detailed account of central aspects of English Renaissance literature with a focus on works by William Shakespeare
  • account for, exemplify and discuss the relation between key figures of thought in English Renaissance and social development in England during 1400-1650

Competence and skills

  • independently interpret and analyze literary source materials
  • apply modern approaches of literary criticism (e.g., gender theory and eco criticism) in the interpretation of English Renaissance texts   
  • relate to relevant research to forward a scholarly argument
  • communicate interpretations of English Renaissance literature at an advanced academic level

Judgement and approach

  • critically evaluate primary sources, partly as representatives of the cultural contexts where they were originally produced, and partly in the cultural contexts where they are produced and consumed today
  • critically evaluate academic argumentation.

Required Knowledge

Univ: At least 90 ECTS in English, or equivalent knowledge. To be accepted to the course, the applicant must have previously completed introduction and intermediate level courses in English literature at university level, or equivalent knowledge. Alternatively, 90 ECTS in Swedish Comparative Literature.

Form of instruction

When the course is offered as a net-based course:

All teaching and examination is conducted online. A web platform is used for contacts between students and teachers, lectures and for group discussions. Students are expected to take active part in discussions and complete written assignments within set time frames.

When the course is given as an on-campus course:

The teaching consists of lessons and seminars. Students are expected to attend all seminars, take active part in discussions and complete oral and written assignments. Attendance in all teaching sessions is compulsory. This means that students are required to attend lessons, seminars etc. unless they have a valid reason to be absent. A student who has been absent from a compulsory teaching session will be required to submit a make-up assignment. A student who is unable to attend a teaching activity must contact the teacher concerned for instructions.

Examination modes

All examination is conducted in English. Examination consists of continuous assessment. The final assessment is based on the student's active participation in seminar discussions and group activities, and on completed oral and written assignments.  

The examiner can decide on deviations from the modes of examination in the syllabus for a student who has been determined eligible for pedagogical support due to a disability. Individual adjustments to the mode of examination will be made on the basis of the student's needs. The mode of examination will be adjusted in relation to the expected learning outcomes. Student in need of Individual adjustments to the mode of examination, should request this at the department no later than 10 days before the examination. The examiner makes a decision based on the request, and the decision is communicated to the student.

Grades awarded are Pass with distinction (Väl godkänd (VG)), Pass (Godkänd (G)) or Fail (Underkänd (U)).  

A student who has been awarded a Pass grade cannot be re-examined.
A student who has not received a Pass grade on an exam has the right to re-take the exam (a re-sit) on a course on which they have ever been registered. The first re-sit shall be offered no later than two months after the regular exam, but no earlier than ten working days after the result of that exam has been announced. For tests held in May or June, the first re-sit may be offered within three months of the regular exam. The date for the re-sit shall be announced no later than in conjunction with the regular exam. At least one more re-sit shall be offered within a year of the regular exam.  
In cases where an exam cannot be repeated according to the rules in effect regarding re-sits, it will be replaced with another task. The scope and content of such a task should be reasonably proportionate to the missed exam.
An examiner may decide that a student who has not quite met the examination requirements, but is close to a Pass grade, be given the opportunity to take a supplementary examination to achieve the Pass grade. Such an examination shall be individually tailored to the goal(s) that the student has not met, and shall be arranged within two weeks after the result of the examination has been announced, but before the next examination session. A supplementary examination can only raise a Fail grade to a Pass grade; award of a grade higher than Pass is not allowed. If the student so wishes, they have the right to take a re-sit instead of a supplementary examination, which gives them the opportunity to achieve a Pass with Distinction.

Other regulations

The final date for the submission/completion of assignments falls on the last day of the semester, unless otherwise stated by the teacher. All assignments need to be completed or submitted within the time frame set by the teacher in order to be considered for examination, otherwise they must be completed over again.

In the event of a decision that the course will no longer be offered, or if the syllabus has been revised, students are guaranteed at least three exams (including the regular one) based on the previous syllabus during a time of no more than two years after the previous syllabus ceased to apply or the decision was made that the course no longer be offered.


Valid from: 2024 week 33

The New Cambridge Shakespeare .
The Tragedy of King Lear
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 978-1316646977 : 2020 :

The merchant of Venice
Shakespeare William, Drakakis John.
London : Arden Shakespeare : 2011 : xx, 404 p. :
ISBN: 9781903436806
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Ed. Thompson Ayanna, Honigmann E.A.J.
London: Bloomsbury, The Arden Shakespeare ISBN: 9781472571762 : 2016 :

The tempest
Shakespeare William, Vaughan Virginia Mason., Vaughan Alden T.
Rev. ed. : London : Bloomsbury Pub. : 2011. : xx, 390 p. :
ISBN: 9781408133484
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Atwood Margaret
Hag-Seed : the Tempest retold
London : Vintage : 2017 : xi, 293 sidor :
ISBN: 9780099594024
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Chevalier Tracy
New Boy : Othello Retold
Random House UK : 2018 : 188 sidor :
ISBN: 9781784700249
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Jacobson Howard
Shylock is My Name
Random House UK : 2016 : 277 sidor :
ISBN: 9780099593287
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St Aubyn Edward
Random House UK : 2018 : 213 sidor :
ISBN: 9781784701697
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The new Cambridge companion to Shakespeare
De Grazia Margreta, Wells Stanley W.
2nd ed. : Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press : 2010 : xvi, 360 p. :
ISBN: 9780521886321
Search the University Library catalogue