Drama and Performance, 1200-1576 ENGLIT5099

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will interrogate a range of scripts and records of dramatic performance covering the period from which the Latin dramas of the medieval Church flourished (c. 1200) until the opening of the first professional playhouse in London (1576). The course will largely focus on English materials but the permeability of traditions in northern Europe will be examined, including some of the Cornish cycles, the Rhetoricians' play-writing competitions in the Low Countries, and the early secular Picardian plays from Arras. The course will cover large-scale productions to two-handers, from cities, royal courts, and the countryside, from plays on devotional subjects to the refined and the bawdy.


1x2 hour seminar per week over 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





The course will be assessed by an extended essay on a topic devised and developed in discussion with the course tutor, and a mid-term.
One Essay of up to 4,000 words (80%)

One mid-term of up to 1,000 words (20%)

Course Aims

The course aims to provide participants with the opportunity to

a) gain a discriminating understanding of a range of modes of dramatic entertainment in the medieval and Early Modern periods

b) develop generic evaluative skills and apply them to sources of evidence for medieval and Early Modern drama

c) develop confidence in selecting and applying appropriate critical discourses to the textual traces of medieval and Early Modern drama


Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

a) make valid comparisons across a disparate range of modes of performance from the medieval and Early Modern periods in northern Europe

b) explain and use a range of sources for medieval and Early Modern drama and relate them to constructions of contemporary performance practices

c) apply appropriate critical discourses to the detail of medieval and Early Modern texts and records of performances

d) identify and evaluate methodological issues concerning the performativity and performability of texts, and audience reception

e) Formulate and defend their research questions

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.