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Literature 2: English Literature, ca. 1550-1700


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


This course offers an introduction to one of the richest eras of English literature and to a historical period that, in many ways, marks the beginning of the modern world. Students will familiarize themselves with a broad range of plays, poetry and prose. We will study the language and form of these texts, while at the time looking at the cultural, political and historical contexts by which they were shaped, and which they helped to shape in their turn.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students will have gained a basic knowledge of early modern English literature. They are able to analyse the form and language of literary texts from this period, and can relate them to their cultural and historical context. They will also have further developed their academic writing skills.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • 1-hour weekly lecture

  • 2-hour weekly seminar

Assessment method


  • 1200-word essay

  • 3 hour end-of-term exam


  • 1200-word essay; minimum grade: 6 (35%).

  • 3 hour end-of-term exam; minimum grade: 5 (65%).

The final grade is determined by calculating the average grade for the above-mentioned assignment and exams, which is rounded to the nearest half. A final grade below 5,5 (also 5,49) is insufficient.

Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


Only if the final grade is insufficient can students resit insufficient exam(s) and/or assignments . The resit grade will replace the original grade.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Norton Anthology of English Literature, 10th edition, vol. B.

  • William Shakespeare, The Complete Sonnets and Poems, ed. Colin Burrow (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

  • Mario Klarer. An Introduction to Literary Studies. Third Edition (Routledge 2013).


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies. All other students need to contact the coordinator of studies to be enrolled for this course.

Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.



Not applicable.