Elizabethan Literature

Academic year
Subject Area
Literature-Anglo-American Studies
Language of Instruction
Other Languages of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

A few lectures will provide the students with the required historical and theoretical background; most classes will be centered on the discussion of primary and secondary texts.

Learning Outcomes

The course provides students with general knowledge about the culture and the literature of the Elizabethan Golden Age, always bearing in mind the political issues at stake at the time.  Both literary and critical texts will be discussed, thus creating the awareness of the changes in the critical fortune of literary texts in time. Literary texts will be read in the historical context of their production, in relation with previous conventions, and taking into account their potential for contemporaneity, that is, for making sense to readers in the 21st century, four centuries after having been written. 

Work Placement(s)



Shakespeare in Context

We will start by approaching Elizabethans´ use of convention in both poetry and drama, focusing on the intertextuality of the body of literary production under analysis. Given his place in the Western Canon, particular attention will be given to William Shakespeare’s work. “The Invention of the Human”, Harold Bloom’s key-category for reading Shakespeare, will be used as a tool to discuss the construction of modern subjectivity up to the contemporary globalized world. Sexual and ethnic identities, Alterity, the different nations inhabiting the British Isles, power and the imminence of death will be issues included in the approach to the literary texts to be discussed.

Head Lecturer(s)

Katarzyna Anna Pisarska

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%


Bloom, H. (1999). Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York: Riverhead Books; Garber, Marjorie (2004). Shakespeare After All. New York: Random House

Callaghan, D. (ed.) (2016). A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare. Oxford: Willey Blackwell

Greenblatt, S. (2005). Renaissance Self-Fashioning. From More to Shakespeare. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press.

Hattaway, M. (ed.) (2006). The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's History Plays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hawkins, H. (1990). Classics and Trash: Traditions and Taboos in High Literature and Popular Modern Genres. New York: Harv

Hoenselaars, T. (ed.) (2001). The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Contemporary Dramatists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Massai, S. (2020). Shakespeare’s Accents: Voicing Identity in Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Murphy, A. R. (ed.) (2007). A Concise Companion to Shakespeare and the Text. Oxford: Blackwell.