1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
9 Units of Level 1 topics
Enrolment not permitted
ENGL2104 has been successfully completed
Assignment(s), Portfolio
Topic description

This topic will focus on the plays of William Shakespeare both as a window onto the richness of Renaissance culture and as works of current timeliness.

Students will be encouraged to imagine the plays both in their historical context and in the context of their own lives and concerns. We will study plays from all the major genres (comedy, history, tragedy, and romance), and explore the ways character, spectacle, poetry, and genre shape the experience of Shakespearean drama.

Special attention will be paid to the 'hot' issues in recent debates about Shakespeare, and students will have the opportunity to become acquainted with some of the scholarship surrounding this most famous of English writers.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Develop familiarity with the formal characteristics of genre, character, and poetic language in drama
  • Address thematic and theoretical issues central to literary studies of historicism, canonicity, patriarchy, and timelessness
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Analyse the life and works of Shakespeare to indicate extensive knowledge of the subject
  2. Examine a range of theoretical issues concerned with addressing classic literature
  3. Apply advanced skills in literary interpretative practice

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.