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Study information

"Monster of Nature and Phoenix of Wits." An Introduction to the Work of Lope de Vega

Module title"Monster of Nature and Phoenix of Wits." An Introduction to the Work of Lope de Vega
Module codeMLS3067
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Jonathan Bradbury (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Module description

Lope de Vega (1562-1635) was the most prolific and versatile author of the most significant period of Spanish literature (its Renaissance, or ‘Golden Age’); he claimed to have written over a thousand plays (of which hundreds survive), and he redefined the Spanish stage, inventing the comedia nueva. He wrote copiously in various genres of poetry and prose as well, and was respected and feared by his peers. In this module, you will be introduced to a sample of Lope’s production, including an as yet unpublished manuscript poem in manuscript, lost since 1619 and rediscovered in 2016 by the module convenor.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to:

  • Introduce one of the major figures of Spanish Renaissance literature and encompasses a representative sample of his huge literary production in a range of genres
  • You will learn how to analyse and interpret works by Lope de Vega in their own right, in relation to each other, and with respect to Lope’s life and personal circumstances
  • You will gain an appreciation of the cultural and intellectual contexts in which Lope wrote, and see how he influenced and shaped those same contexts

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the texts by Lope covered in the module, and be able to relate them to the specific contexts in which they were produced

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 2. Analyse selected primary texts, relating them to significant elements in their historical, intellectual and generic context
  • 3. Mount a detailed argument in the appropriate register of English, mustering a range of textual or other evidence in its support
  • 4. Read, prioritise and utilise appropriately the secondary literature – in both English and the target language – recommended by the course tutor
  • 5. Pursue independently further avenues of primary and secondary reading, consulting if appropriate with the course tutor(s), and use these to compile a topic-specific bibliography
  • 6. Understand and use appositely a range of literary and critical terms

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Adopt a critical approach to the selection and organisation of material in order to produce coherently structured and expressed arguments
  • 8. Using course material provided and suggestions from the tutor(s), research, plan and write an essay on a chosen aspect of the subject, to a specified length and deadline
  • 9. Demonstrate general competence in word-processing and in the use of the Internet

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Lope: his life and world.
  • Lope and drama (including for instance El castigo sin venganza and Arte nuevo de hacer comedias)
  • Lope and poetry (including the unpublished and previously lost satirical poem unique to the module)
  • Lope and prose (including for instance Novelas a Marcia Leonarda)

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Seminars
Guided Independent Study134Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Short essay750 words1-9Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1003000 words1-9Written and oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-9Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Primary texts may include, but not be limited to:

  • Lope de Vega, Arte nuevo de hacer comedias, ed. by Enrique García Santo-Tomás (Madrid: Cátedra)
  • ---, El castigo sin venganza, ed. by Jonathan Thacker (Manchester UP)
  • ---, “Dime de aquel cabrón, suave Musa” (slides of this unpublished manuscript to be provided by the convenor)
  • ---, Novelas a Marcia Leonarda, ed. by Antonio Carreño (Madrid: Cátedra)

Other good editions of the printed texts are available

For a good idea of the state of current scholarship on Lope de Vega, the student may wish to consult online the journal dedicated to this author: Anuario Lope de Vega

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Golden Age, Renaissance, Lope de Vega, poetry, drama, comedia, prose, novela.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

MLS2001 or MLS2156

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date