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EN3166 Victorian Poetry’s Voices

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 9
Planned timetable:9.00 am - 11.00 am Tue

Throughout the Victorian period poetry was viewed simultaneously as the highest mode of artistic expression and as a marginal practice, consigned to the periphery of culture by the novel, the newspaper, and other popular forms of writing. This ambiguity sparked a series of debates about the place of poetry in modern culture, as Victorian poets tried to define and defend the value and purpose of their work. This module will explore these debates by focusing on the concept of 'voice' in a range of canonical and non-canonical poems. The module will consider how Victorian poets experimented with the forms and conventions of verse in order to speak in different voices, writing innovative poems that undermined the barrier between literary language and the patterns of everyday speech, and that interrogated the links between language and personal identity. It will also examine the ways in which poets used the diverse voices of their writing to address the social and political issues that shaped Victorian culture.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Group C Optional for English and BA (Intl Hons) English)

UG Pre-requisite(s):EN2003, EN2004
UG Anti-requisite(s):EN4364

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:2-hour seminar, and 2 optional consultative hours.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 22
  • Guided independent study: 278

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 50%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 50%
UG As used by St Andrews:2-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr G Tate
Module teaching staff:Dr G Tate