Age of Shakespeare: Tragedy


An introduction to the golden age of English theatre, involving detailed study of a selection of tragedies by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The theatrical emphasis of the course is intended to help students respond to the plays as theatrical artefacts and not merely as literary texts.

For full course information see the Digital Course Outline. 

Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.

Availability 2024

Not offered in 2024; planned for 2025


Lecturer(s) Dr Sophie Tomlinson


Christopher Marlowe:

Doctor Faustus, ed. Roma Gill rev. Ros King (New Mermaids, 2009)

William Shakespeare: 

            Hamlet, ed. G.R. Hibbard (Oxford)  

            Othello, ed. Michael Neill (Oxford)

            King Lear, ed. R.A. Foakes (Arden)

            Anthony and Cleopatra, ed. Michael Neill (Oxford)

Thomas Middleton:

            The Revenger’s Tragedy, ed. Brian Gibbons (New Mermaids)

Middleton & Rowley:

            The Changeling, ed. Michael Neill (New Mermaids)

John Webster:

            The Duchess of Malfi, ed. Brian Gibbons (New Mermaids)

Recommended Reading

Andrew McRae, Renaissance Drama (Arnold)

Andrew Gurr, The Shakespearean Stage, 4th ed. (Cambridge)

Russ McDonald, ed., The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction With Documents (Bedford/St Martins)

Adrian Poole, Tragedy: A very short Introduction (Oxford)

Peter Holbrook, English Renaissance Tragedy: Ideas of Freedon (Bloomsbury)


Coursework + exam


ENGLISH 353: 15 points


30 points at Stage II in English or Drama