Modern French Theatre - FR632

Sorry, this module is not currently running in 2019-20.


Students registering for this module will need to have proficiency in the target language at level B1/B2, as the module is taught partly in the target language


This module is not available as a wild module.



This module allows students to study plays by major French writers and to explore the techniques they used, both verbal and visual, to renew the art of theatre during the first half of the twentieth century. It will include plays in French by major authors such as Apollinaire, Cocteau, Sartre and Ionesco. Taking one play each week, the syllabus will be approached in broadly chronological order, with emphasis given to diversity but also to continuing links and developments, such as the use and influence of popular culture, politics and classical mythology.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

One weekly two-hour seminar for ten weeks

Method of assessment

60% Coursework, 40% Exam

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading:

Anouilh, J. (1937). Le Voyageur sans Bagage. Paris: Gallimard.
Apollinaire, G. (1917). Les Mamelles de Tirésias. Paris: Gallimard.
Cocteau, J. (1934). La Machine Infernale. Paris: Bernard Grasset.
Cocteau, J. (1938). Les Parents Terribles. Paris: Gallimard.
Giraudoux, J. (1946). La Folle de Chaillot. Paris: Bernard Grasset.
Ionesco, E. (1954). La Cantatrice Chauve. Paris: Gallimard.
Ionesco, E. (1959). Rhinocéros. Paris: Gallimard.
Sartre, J. (1947). Huis Clos. Paris: Gallimard.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Demonstrate enhanced knowledge and critical understanding of representative works produced by major playwrights working in France during the first half of the twentieth century;
8.2 Demonstrate developed analytical skills relating to close reading and evaluation of literary texts;
8.3 Demonstrate developed knowledge and awareness of stagecraft, performance and the history and founding principles of theatre, in order to enrich and diversify their appreciation and analysis of texts written for the theatre;
8.4 Demonstrate improved reading speed in French.

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