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English Literature I

Code: MEAAM013     Acronym: LI1

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL English Literature

Instance: 2021/2022 - 1S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Department of Anglo-American Studies
Course/CS Responsible: Masters in Anglo-American Studies

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MEAA 12 MEAA - Study Plan 1 - 6 55 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Rui Manuel Gomes Carvalho Homem

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 2,00
Rui Manuel Gomes Carvalho Homem 2,00

Teaching language



Object and aims: this programme will explore implications for drama and the theatre of the social, economic and epistemological transformations of the Early Modern period. This will be done with reference to texts that illustrate the structural and modal variety of English comedy from the late 16th to the early 17th-centuries. Study of these plays will be supported by theoretical and historical information.


Learning outcomes and competences

Skills: The programme will foster the students' capacity for reading drama in a critical way. With a view to contributing to a measure of homogeneity in the academic conditions of students from a variety of backgrounds, the programme will include an overview of key concepts in the semiotics of drama – as well as of relevant historical contexts.

Results: by the end of the semester students should have developed the ability to consider Early Modern drama in a critically informed way, and to pronounce on the operative concepts and the contexts approached within the programme.

Working method



Love and Greed in Early Modern English Drama

This programme will explore the concomitance of erotic and monetary desire in four Early Modern English plays. Their plots abound in representations of personal aspiration – clearcut instances (no doubt) of individual salience as a defining trait of drama, in its historical and generic delineation; but also manifestations of the new set of social and economic relations that marked the rise of commercial capitalism. The programme will highlight the variety of responses that the age's momentous changes obtain on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage – through Shakespeare's combination of pathos, romance and hard economics in The Merchant of Venice; Ben Jonson's satirical and allegorical exploration of appetites and illusions in Bartholomew Fair; John Fletcher's dislocation of proto-imperial European endeavours to the antipodes of The Island Princess; and Philip Massinger's ambivalent reflection on power, venality and virtue in The Maid of Honour.

Mandatory literature

John Fletcher; The Island Princess, Arden Early Modern Drama - Bloomsbury, 2012. ISBN: 978-1904271536
Jonson Benjamin 1572-1637; The^Cambridge edition of the works of Ben Jonson. ISBN: 978-0-521-78246-3
Massinger, Philip; The Plays and Poems of Philip Massinger, Oxford: Clarendon, 1976. ISBN: 0198118945
Shakespeare William 1564-1616; The^merchant of Venice. ISBN: 1-903436-03-6

Comments from the literature

As regards the critical bibliography for this graduate seminar, students will be encouraged to identify sources that may prove adequate to their research - under the guidance of the seminar leader.

Teaching methods and learning activities

As should be expected from a graduate seminar, sessions will include active input from the seminar leader – but, above all, will rely on regular contributions from the students. Students will therefore be expected to pursue research tasks supervised by the seminar leader, but geared towards a growing autonomy of their research effort.

All activities in this course – teaching, interaction of students and seminar leader, assessment – will be conducted in English.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 25,00
Prova oral 75,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 132,00
Frequência das aulas 30,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

Elements for Assessment 1) attendance: a minimum of 75% of all sessions; 2) active participation in class; 3) final oral assessment.

Calculation formula of final grade

Final Mark: The final oral assessment will be decisive, but this should adequately reflect the knowledge and skills developed by each student in the course of the semester. Final presentation: 75% Active participation in the seminar: 25%

Examinations or Special Assignments


Internship work/project


Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)


Classification improvement



All activities in this course will be conducted in English.
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