English and drama

Contemporary Stylistics: The discourse of film and drama

Module code: Q3152
Level 6
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

The module introduces you to the main issues and themes in the study of language and literature with specific reference to those narrative forms in which the viewers are actively involved as 'ratified overhearers'. These include film and drama in which the discourse reflects the typical double plane of communication between the characters in the story, on one level, and the external viewers on the other. The module revolves around the idea that theatre and film offer re-presentations of the world. In so doing they reorganise and recreate language, together with time and space, in respect of socio-cultural and media conventions and expectations. The module familiarises you with a number of approaches and practices in modern stylistics and explores such issues as characterisation, the relation between real-life and fictional talk, deixis and the construction of viewpoint and the notion of narrative. The module also discusses the concept of genre and focuses on the specific discursive representation within the confines of comedy, drama, horror and on what can be defined hybrid genres.

Module learning outcomes

  • Show an understanding of the role and function of linguistic strategies in such narrative texts as film and theatre and the relevance of discourse analysis tools for providing an in-depth understanding of those texts by selecting particular aspects to discuss in their presentation and essay.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the actors on screen/stage and the viewers by identifying in the texts the degree of information that is deliberately conveyed to or withheld from the viewers for a specific reason.
  • Appreciate the relation between the market genre classification, the viewers' expectations and how all this is reflected in the language of a particular film through an analysis devoted to a specific aspect of a film.
  • Show the ability to apply specific theories for the stylistic interpretation of cinema and theatre to the chosen texts.