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ENL2005 Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature

Semester 2, 2021 Toowoomba On-campus
Short Description: Shakespeare & Early Modern Lit
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 091523 - Literature
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Judy Hefferan

Other Requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


ENL2005 provides a detailed study of a formative period in English Literature. Students will write essays on Shakespeare and other major Early Modern writers and be tested on their knowledge of social and political contexts for poetry and plays in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The course advances knowledge gained in first year English Literature courses and equips students for advanced studies in the discipline area.


Shakespeare's plays and poetry formed part of a flourishing period of literary and theatrical innovation. Yet the nature of this period has been the subject of changing opinion: known once as the Golden Age, then given the name 'Renaissance,' and more recently called the Early Modern period. This course examines the literature of this period in its social contexts and explores the place of Shakespeare on the Elizabethan stage. Students will develop the ability to critique received scholarly opinion on the work of Shakespeare and his coevals.


On completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. advanced cultural literacy through description of the way cultural and historical contexts contribute to innovations in form
  2. well-developed written communication skills by expressing critical arguments using appropriate disciplinary conventions
  3. ethical research and enquiry skills in identifying appropriate secondary sources for use in the research essay
  4. skills in analysis and synthesis in developing responses to long standing critical opinions
  5. evidence of advanced reflective practice through participation in class discussions.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Renaissance or early modern: literary periods 20.00
2. The Monarch: representations of Elizabeth 20.00
3. The early modern stage 40.00
4. Early modern poetry: sonnets and metaphysicals 20.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Jonson, B 2001, Ben Jonson’s plays and masques, 2nd edn.
(Norton Critical edition; Edited by Richard Harp.)
Shakespeare, W 2003, 1 Henry IV, Norton Critical edn.
(Edited by Gordon MacMullan.)

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Hattaway, M (ed) 2002, The Cambridge companion to Shakespeare’s history plays, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Hopkins, L 2011, Drama and the succession to the crown, 1561-1633, Ashgate e-book, Surrey.
McEvoy, S 2008, Ben Jonson: Renaissance dramatist, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
Spiller, M 1992, The development of the sonnet: an introduction, Routledge, London & New York.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 39.00
Independent Study 126.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CRITICAL ESSAY 100 30 20 Aug 2021
PARTICIPATION 100 10 22 Oct 2021 (see note 1)
RESEARCH ESSAY 100 40 22 Oct 2021
MOODLE QUIZ 100 20 29 Oct 2021

  1. Participation is assessed on the basis of weekly contributions to classes or Study Desk forums and a reflective statement submitted at the end of the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.
    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.
    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other Requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  2. Assignments should be typed and must be double spaced. The new MLA style must be used in documenting all assessment items. See Study Desk for details.

  3. Tape recording of tutorials and lectures is prohibited except in special cases at the discretion of the examiner.

Date printed 8 November 2021