Study Abroad and Exchanges



SEL3303 : Writing Rebellion: The Literature of the English Revolution (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The English Revolution took place just as the foundations of a self-conscious literary tradition had been put in place: writers began to be viewed as ‘authors’ who owned their work and the ideas within them and print rather than manuscript had emerged as the favoured means of transmission. The Revolution sees men, and, for the first time in large numbers, women, use this new authority to write literature that criticises and analyses public events, raises ethical questions about the nature of power and individual responsibility and records the public and private trauma of death, defeat and individual suffering. It produces Paradise Lost, the most influential English vernacular epic (the genre that traces the rise and fall of a people) and the autobiographical modes of lyric and elegy flourish, heralding the emergence of life-writing as a significant literary form. The course asks students to consider how the historical circumstances, the genre, the mode of circulation, and the gender and politics of its author affect how a text is written and read by its contemporary audience, and the degree to which these considerations should construct their own reading of the texts.

At the end of this module you should be able to:

1. Situate this literature in its social, material and historical contexts

2. Assess the significance of a writer’s choice of genre and medium

3. Explore the relationship between literary values and political beliefs

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline of syllabus: A variety of texts will be explored under the following themes.
Week 1 Lecture 1: Writing in an Age of Revolution: Andrew Marvell
Week 2 Lecture 2: Royalist Voices: Reading the Cavalier
Week 3 Lecture 3: Royalist Voices: Reading Royalist Women
Week 4 Lecture 4: Defeat 1: Reading Revolutionary Elegy
Week 5 Lecture 5: Defeat 2: Reading Restoration Tragedy
Week 6 Lecture 6: Revolutionary Epic: Paradise Lost 1
Week 8 Lecture 7: Revolutionary Epic: Paradise Lost 2
Week 9 Lecture 9: Revolutionary Epic: Paradise Lost 3
Week 10 Lecture 10: Revolutionary Epic: Paradise Lost 4
Week 11 Lecture 11: Revolutionary Epic: Paradise Lost 5

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion134:0034:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading180:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study138:0038:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to set out the contexts (political, social, and literary) and to demonstrate close readings of individual works. The slightly longer seminars will be used to facilitate students’ interpretations giving them greater time to introduce and develop their ideas in dialogue with those of their peers. The 2 hour seminar will allow for a slightly longer opening session that introduces the themes of and primary sources for the course through interactive exercises

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A753000 words
Written exercise2M25Written practical criticism exercise (1,000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Practical criticism is an approach which encourages the student to focus very closely on the text itself and to consider questions of style, structure and rhetoric used within an individual work. It is intended to complement and support the wider process of contextualisation and comparison explored by the essay format, so that students will acquire the skills to interpret both the text by itself and within its wider context

Reading Lists