Resources on Medieval Drama

English 254: Early English Drama to 1642

Tanya Pollard
Resources on Renaissance Drama
Dickson 170

MR 2:30-3:45

my web page:

English department web page:

Office: Dickson 352

phone: 655-5141

hours: M 12:30-1 & 3:45-5:15, R 12-1, and by appointment

Week Date Reading Assignment
1 1-19 Introduction
2 1-23 Quem Quaeritis, Pantomime for Easter Day, Easter Resurrection Play, Orleans Sépulcher
1-26 The First Murder: The Murder of Abel
3 1-30 The Deluge: Noah and his Sons
2-2 The Second Shepherds' Play
4 2-6 The (Wakefield) Crucifixion
2-9 Everyman
5 2-13 Kyd, Spanish Tragedy, I-II
2-16 Spanish Tragedy, III
6 2-20 Spanish Tragedy, IV
2-23 Marlowe, Dr. Faustus, II, I-II short essay due
7 2-27 Dr. Faustus, III-IV
3-2 Dr. Faustus, V
8 3-6 midterm review
3-9 midterm exam exam
9 3-20 Beaumont, Knight of the Burning Pestle, I-II
3-23 Knight of the Burning Pestle, III-IV
10 3-27 Knight of the Burning Pestle, V
3-30 Webster, Duchess of Malfi, I-II
11 4-3 Duchess of Malfi, III-IV
4-6 Duchess of Malfi, V staging exercise due
12 4-10 Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, I-II
4-13 Bartholomew Fair, III-IV
13 4-17 Bartholomew Fair, V
4-20 Middleton and Rowley, Changeling, I-II
14 4-24 Changeling, III-IV
4-27 Changeling, V
15 5-1 overview final essay due
Course Requirements and Expectations:

Attendance is required. If you miss more than three classes, your overall grade will drop; at six absences, you will fail the class. Latemess will count as a partial absence.


Because this class is based on close reading of the plays, it is very important that everyone has a copy of the play and brings it to class. You may use other editions if you prefer; if you forget your copy you should stop by the library and check out an edition on the way to class.


Learning is a collaborative process, and it is crucial that each of you engage fully with the texts and with each other. To this end, you will be expected to participate actively in class discussions, and you will be required to provide and introduce topics for class discussion on a rotating basis. Your contributions will determine a significant portion of the semester's grade. In order to build a classroom atmosphere of courtesy and concentration, please avoid behavior that is disrespectful and interferes with others' learning, including rudeness, talking while others are speaking, and ringing from cell-phones, pagers, watches, etc.


Written work should have a thesis that is well argued, clearly written, and supported by analytical close readings of textual passages. Specific guidelines will be distributed before each assignment. Late papers will be marked down for each day late. Any use of others' ideas must be fully acknowledged in footnotes; see me if you are unsure about what this means. Plagiarism will result in failing the class and being reported to the Dean's Office.

Coursework and grading:
Participation in class discussion and contribution of topics

short essay

staging exercise

midterm exam

final essay






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