English and drama

Staging the Renaissance: Shakespeare

Module code: Q3059
Level 5
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

You consider a range of Shakespeare's plays (comedies, tragedies, tragi-comedies and romances) from different stages of his career, analysing the playwright's stagecraft, his use of language and his reworking of traditional forms for the commercial stage. While you'll explore some recent adaptations for stage and screen, you wil focus particularly on the plays as produced in their original historical and cultural contexts.

The module will familiarise you with Renaissance drama's negotiation of contested social and political issues at the turn of the 17th century. You'll investigate the social processes of the theatre – notably the playhouses used by Shakespeare's company (the Theatre, the Globe and Blackfriars) – and focus on the interplay of Shakespearean texts and their performance in the production of meaning.

Module learning outcomes

  • Analyse questions of genre, language and stagecraft.
  • Formulate their own responses to the drama, relating texts accurately to their social, political and cultural contexts.
  • Contribute knowledgeably to current critical debates about Shakespearean drama.
  • Competently research, organise, reference and present their ideas in written form.