English 150A - Fall, 2019

British Drama to 1800

Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
CRN: 63212
Time: MWF 1:10-2:00
Location: 141 Olson


    This course will focus on plays by Shakespeare's contemporaries and colleagues: Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, and John Webster. These are the plays that inspired me to go to graduate school and then to become an English professor. I'm excited to have this rare opportunity to share some of my favorites works with a small group of students (maximum 30). Since this class does not have discussion sections or teaching assistants, we will focus together on discussion in class and on developing your reading, writing, and research skills. In addition to papers and a final, there will be some guided research exercises using databases. Our plays will invite us to consider a wealth of topics including law, London, imperialism, marriage and family, gender and sexuality, virginity tests, murder, poison and werewolves.

    You need not have taken a Shakespeare class to enjoy this one, but for those who have studied Shakespeare it will be interesting to compare his work to what other dramatists were doing in this golden age of the drama.


    Research exercises: 15
    Paper 1 15%
    Paper 2 20%
    Take-home final exam: 20%
    Quizzes: 20%
    Attendance and participation: 10%


    Four Plays, Thomas Middleton
    The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster
    Epicoene, Ben Jonson
    Tamburlaine, Edward Marlowe