The Renaissance and the 18th Century are two of the richest periods in English literature and this MA will appeal to people who'd like to study, compare and contrast the works of these periods' key authors, playwrights and poets.
We examine particular writers in detail and close-read major texts, as well as broader cultural narratives and changing critical perspectives, each of which helps to reveal the other.
Central to the MA are modules that explore how key Renaissance writers influence major 18th Century authors and inform their ideas of literary form and style. We also examine the politics, religion, science and ‘taste’ of the times.
Naturally, Shakespeare stands at the heart of this MA. The 18th Century saw the emergence of Shakespeare as the ‘National Poet’, becoming the great age of adapting Shakespeare’s plays for performance, of editing them on the page, and of contesting his ‘Genius’ in criticism and scholarship.
This MA provides a solid foundation for further research, as well as being a complete, and unique, programme of study in itself. Assessment is by a combination of assignments, including a final dissertation.