LIT254 : Christopher Marlowe

Convener(s): Dr Tom Rutter


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

This module gives students the opportunity to read the entire dramatic and poetic output of Shakespeare's great rival, Christopher Marlowe. In putting plays into dialogue with lyric and narrative poetry, we will interrogate the implications of the label 'poet-dramatist' to describe the trajectory of Marlowe's career. Students will also look at important institutional contexts for the publication of Marlowe's work: professional theatre, patronage networks and print.

Marlowe’s work was both dramatically innovative and intellectually challenging, engaging with controversial questions of religious belief, political theory and sexual identity as well offering striking scenes of theatrical spectacle and dazzling linguistic pyrotechnics. While reading it we will explore a variety of critical themes, including identity, violence, gender, sexuality, rhetoric, race, religion, atheism and colonialism.

This module will be of interest both to students wanting to deepen their understanding of Renaissance literature and culture and to those wanting to explore the world of Elizabethan drama that lies beyond Shakespeare.


The module is taught in a combination of lectures and seminars. Teaching will be supported by a MOLE site including an extensive bibliography. Students will be encouraged to use appropriate electronic resources such as Early English Books Online and the OED.


You have a choice of assessment for this module: either 1 x 4000-word essay (100%) or 1 x 1500-word essay (40%) + 1 x 2500-word essay (60%).

Contact Details

Dr Tom Rutter

Information last changed: Wednesday 16th of March 2016 :: 09:25:46 AM (GMT)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK