Not available as wild
OverviewThis module introduces students to the drama of Shakespeare's time, thinking in particular about the new theatrical buildings and the discoveries they made possible. The module encourages independent study and is consequently built around student interests as they develop their own research questions and essay topic.
This period saw the emergence of the first permanent purpose built playhouses, and the development of the theatre industry. We will consider how the conditions of performance and production such as playhouse architecture, the reportorial system, printing, censorship and London's changing urban environment affected playwrights, actors and audiences. Reading a range of playwrights, students will get a sense of the main trends which shaped the drama of the time, contextualising their understanding of canonical writers such as Shakespeare. Students will also engage with the current developments in early modern theatre history and the ways in which thinking about authorship, staging, printing and other key concepts from the period has altered over the last fifty years. As part of this work, we will examine the phenomena of modern 'reconstructed playhouses such as Shakespeares Globe, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and the American Shakespeare Centres Blackfriars, asking what - if anything - modern performance in these spaces can tell us about early modern practices.
This module appears in:
3 hours per week
Method of assessment
This module can be taken by standard coursework route or by dissertation. NB: students can only take ONE MODULE by dissertation in stage 3.
Module by standard coursework:
100% coursework: research report 1500 words (15%), a single long essay 4500 words (75%), seminar performance (10%)
Module by dissertation:
Assessment will be in the form of:
1) a 500-word dissertation proposal (formative assessment and non-marked)
2) a dissertation of 6000 words (90%)
3) seminar performance mark in accordance with the criteria published in the School of English Undergraduate Handbook (10%)
Janette Dillon, 'The Cambridge Introduction to Early English Theatre' (Cambridge University Press, 2006)
Richard Dutton, ed., 'The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre' (Oxford University Press, 2009)
Andrew Gurr, 'The Shakespearean Stage, 1574-1642', 4th ed. (Cambridge UP, 2009)
Glynne Wickham, Herbert Berry and William Ingram, eds., 'English Professional Theatre, 1530-1660' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
On completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate the following subject specific learning outcomes:
read and respond critically to a range of early modern drama
engage with issues of theatre history, including the modern phenomenon of reconstructed playhouses
relate their reading to developments in social, political and cultural history
explore a range of theoretical and practical approaches to dramatic texts
think critically about contemporary performance of early modern plays
sharpen their ability to understand and evaluate early modern drama and performance
develop and deploy critical thinking skills in conjunction with primary texts
On completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate the following generic learning outcomes:
apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry in order to organise and present research findings
demonstrate developed powers of communication and the capacity to argue a point of view, orally and in written form, with clarity, organisation and cogency
demonstrate enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
assimilate and organise substantial quantities of complex information of diverse kinds
understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives
demonstrate research skills, including scholarly information retrieval skills; IT skills: word-processing, email communication, the ability to access electronic data.
develop and enhance skills in individual and group-based work
In addition, students taking the module by dissertation will be able to:
marshal complex knowledge and present it clearly and logically in the substantive form of a dissertation.