Women And Drama In The English Renaissance Period THEATRE4054

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores women's relation to the dramatic writing of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, examining how females were defined and constructed by male playwrights, and how such representations change when penned by a woman. The course looks at a range of drama by male and female, canonical and non-canonical playwrights, in order to demonstrate the generic diversity of drama in this period and considers the cultural and political contexts from which the plays of the time have sprung in the light of modern critical approaches.


One three-hour seminar per week over eight weeks as scheduled on MyCampus

6 hours practice-based work as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theatre Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





1 x 3500 word essay (75%)

1 x 10 minute oral presentation (10%)

1 x 10 minute role-play exercise (15%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ explore sixteenth- and seventeenth-century dramatic literature and its relation to women within the cultural context in which both are produced (and consumed).

■ develop in students a greater awareness of early modern theatre history and broaden their understanding of performance, playing spaces and contemporary practices that affect scholarly interpretation of Tudor and Stuart theatrical works.

■ inculcate an increased awareness of how dramatic literature contributes to broader cultural and political contexts, and thereby promote an increased ability to make connections between social and cultural concerns and their presentation in early modern dramatic writings.

■ enhance confidence and ability to discourse, both orally and in writing, on Tudor and Stuart dramatic writings with independent critical and informed judgment.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ develop an understanding of how women are defined and constructed by male playwrights in the early modern period, and how such representations change when penned by a female.

■ discuss the socio-cultural contexts from which the plays of the English Renaissance sprung in the light of modern critical approaches.

■ enhance awareness of the different performance spaces and contemporary theatre practices that helped to shape the dramatic writings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

■ discourse (both orally and in writing) critically and analytically in a manner that demonstrates knowledge and understanding of an aspect of English Renaissance drama that relates to the issue of gender and the social position of women.

■ explain how playwrights of the period use their drama to explore and comment on broader cultural and political concerns prevalent in early modern English society.

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.