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Study-Unit Description
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CODE LAS2018

 
TITLE Shakespeare Revisited

 
LEVEL H - Higher Level

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences

 
DESCRIPTION Since at least the nineteenth century, introductions to Shakespeare have often used the method of introducing students to the plays through a focus on some of the best known scenes in Shakespeare: for instance, the casket scene in The Merchant of Venice; Macbeth's meeting with the witches; the graveyard scene in Hamlet; or various other scenes in popular plays like The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. This Unit takes that same method, typically associated with secondary school introductions to Shakespeare, but seeks to amplify and deepen it. It guides students through an appreciation of key scenes in Shakespeare and of their continuing resonances and appeal, and in the process seeks to invite students to acquaint themselves better with the power of Shakespeare's literary and dramatic art.

Accordingly, and following two opening lectures that place Shakespeare's legacy in context, the Unit will take students through a close look at selected episodes from Shakespeare's plays (no fewer than 3 and no more than 6) and their impact on various histories and cultures within literature and theatre. Each episode will be discussed closely, with its language, imagery, narrative effectiveness, dramatic power and enduring appeal reviewed. Subsequently, the fortunes of each episode within established and contemporary critical commentary will be considered and discussed, with attention directed also to each scene's performance history. Two concluding sessions will then reflect on the episodes' intertextual affinities with Shakespeare's other work and beyond, and on Shakespeare's broader reach.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Appreciate better some of the key scenes in Shakespeare and, on that basis, Shakespeare more generally;
- Discern and appreciate patterns of imagery and poetic language in Shakespeare;
- Discern and appreciate Shakespeare's dramatic effectiveness and its undying impact on theatre histories;
- Sense Shakespearean undercurrents in broader literature and culture, both canonical and popular.

2. Skills:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Analyse Shakespearean language;
- Speak and write critically on scenes from Shakespeare;
- Relate canonical literature to broader culture;
- Draw connections across literature and theatre.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Students will be directed to the following introductory texts, but various reading packs with essay-length studies included will also be circulated.

- Jonathan Bate, The Genius of Shakespeare, 10th Anniversary Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).
- Catherine Belsey, Shakespeare in Theory and Practice (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010).
- Marjorie Garber, Shakespeare After All (New York: Anchor Books, 2005).
- Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (London: Cape, 2004).

 
ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualification: Intermediate Level in English (or equivalent).

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Krista Bonello Rutter Giappone
Ivan Callus (Co-ord.)

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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