Shakespearean Forms from Sonnet to Tragedy ENGLIT4108

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

As well as a range of familiar and less familiar works by Shakespeare, this course covers comparative works of drama, poetry, and prose from before, during, and after Shakespeare's time, from literatures both English and foreign. It invites you to relate these to the Shakespeare works as examples of literary forms and genres such as tragedy, pastoral, history play, sonnet, and to consider the importance of form and genre in literature. 


1 x 1hr lecture per week over nine weeks, 1 x 90min seminar per week over seven weeks, as scheduled on MyCampus.

1 x 1hr library visit TBA.


This is one of the Honours options in English Literature and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours English Literature, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4055  Shakespearean Forms


Essay (2000 words): 35%

Essay (3000 words): 50%

Seminar presentation of 5 minutes: 10%

Seminar contribution: 5%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ extend knowledge of the work of Shakespeare

■ place Shakespeare's work in a comparative context by reading it against texts of various eras having similar forms

■ reflect on the importance of form and genre in works of literature at large.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ write in a critically engaged and historically informed way on literary forms and genres used by Shakespeare and other writers

■ track the development of literary forms and genres across periods

■ draw on a wide range of sources, including archival and digital, in oral and written assignments

■ communicate responses to the material studied on the course both orally and in written form through coherent and sustained argument.

■ demonstrate resilience and time management through effectively planning, undertaking and submitting coursework.

■ deal with change and new challenges by applying their disciplinary skills and knowledge to previously unfamiliar research areas and questions.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.