This course investigates the great flourishing of drama in late 16th and early 17th century England, a period of little more than fifty years that produced the most robust theater in the English-speaking world. We read plays by several of the major writers of the period, with the exception of Shakespeare: Kyd, Marlowe, Green, Jonson, Dekker, Heywood, Webster, Middleton, and Ford. We note the influence of medieval drama on the development of Elizabethan drama by reading examples of the morality play and the English cycle play. We pay particular attention to conventions of Elizabethan theater practice and the relationship of the audience to the theatrical event. Students will write two essays.