Course module - Shakespeare: Genre, Text And Performance
Code : ENGL20372 Credit rating: 20 Semester : 2
- To build on the knowledge of dramatic conventions and structures acquired at level 1 by expanding on the concept of genre, specifically within the historical context of the period 1590-1613.
- To examine Shakespeare's conception of genre as demonstrated in comedy, history and tragedy, but also in plays which defy the notion of simple genres.
- To develop students' skills in the close reading of texts.
- To open up questions about the relationship between text and performance.
- To allow students the opportunity to gain an understanding of Shakespeare's literary and theatrical work from all phases of his career and in a range of genres.
- To consider the relationship between genre and theme, by focusing on the way plays in different genres engage with key themes such as gender, the body, romantic love, selfhood, nation.
Objectives (Learning Outcomes)
By the end of the course the successful student will have demonstrated:
- A knowledge and understanding of a series of representative dramatic texts from the beginning to the end of Shakespeare's career.
- An understanding of the idea of genre and its importance in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama.
- An ability to engage critically with the prescribed texts and with the relationships between text and performance and genre and theme, especially but not exclusively the specified 'key themes'.
- The ability to read texts closely and to understand their place in their historical context.
- The ability to work independently, to develop research skills, to use evidence, and to structure an argument.
One 2,500-word review of a performance of a Shakespeare play or an adaptation of a Shakespeare play, focusing on notions of genre and performance (40%); one 2-hour pre-published written examination (60%)
The use of dictionaries in the examination is prohibited. This rule applies to all categories of students, including all Visiting Students.
THIS COURSE IS NOT AVAILABLE AS FREE CHOICE.
This course considers the works of William Shakespeare, encompassing the whole impressive range of his work. Thematically, the course is interested in Shakespeare’s interrogation of gender, colonialism, class and identity during the Early Modern period. We look at his conception of genre as demonstrated in key dramas, including tragedies, comedies and history plays, but also how as a playwright he challenges and undermines the notion of simple genres. The course also considers performance history, contemporary adaptation of his work (in film and television), and the creation of the ‘myth’ of Shakespeare. Students will be able to engage with his work on a variety of different levels and in a multiple of theoretical, material and cultural contexts.
Pearson, Professor Jacqueline
PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE FOR 2013-2014
Lecture: Monday, 2.00-4.00
Seminars: T B A
One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar per week.
For primary texts, you should buy well annotated individual texts; the New Arden are perhaps the best. If you insist on using a complete works, the Riverside or the Norton are best.
Also: C. L. Barber, Shakespeare's Festive Comedy (1959);
Philippa Berry, Shakespeare's Feminine Endings: Disfiguring Death in the Tragedies (1999);
Mark Breitenberg, Anxious Masculinity in Early Modern England (1996);
Dympna Callaghan, Women and Gender in Renaissance Tragedy (1989);
Dympna Callaghan, Shakespeare without Women: Representing Gender and Race on the Renaissance Stage (2000);
Lawrence Danson, Shakespeare's Dramatic Genres (2000);
Geraldo U. de Sousa, Shakespeare's Cross-Cultural Encounters (2 nd ed., 2002);
Juliet Dusinberre, Shakespeare and the Nature of Women (1975);
Northrop Frye, A Natural Perspective : the Development of Shakespearean Comedy and Romance (1965);
Barbara Hodgdon, The End Crowns All: Closure and Contradiction in Shakespeare's History (1991);
Jean Howard and Phyllis Rackin, Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare's English Histories (1997);
Lisa Jardine, Reading Shakespeare Historically (1996);
Copp'lia Kahn, Roman Shakespeare (1997);
Michael Long, The Unnatural Scene: A Study in Shakesperean Tragedy (1976);
A Loomba and M. Orkin, Postcolonial Shakespeares (1998);
Stephen Orgel, Impersonations: the Performance of Gender in Shakespeare's England (1996);
Ernest Schanzer, The Problem Plays of Shakespeare (1963);
James Shapiro, Shakespeare and the Jews (1996);
Michael Shapiro, Gender in Play on the Shakespearean Stage: Boy Heroines and Female Pages (1994);
Bruce R. Smith, Shakespeare and Masculinity (2000);
Leonard Tennenhouse, Power on Display: the Politics of Shakespeare's Genres (1986);
Vivian Thomas, The Moral Universe of Shakespeare's Problem Plays (1987).