Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Letteratura italiana dal Cinquecento al Settecento

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will be an introduction to three centuries of Italian literature. From the XVI century to the XVIII century, we will follow the evolution of Italian literature thanks both to general lectures on history, culture and society and to the close readings of selected works. The two authors that will be analized in the first semester will be Niccolò Machiavelli and Carlo Goldoni. We will read excerpts from Machiavelli's Principe and from his short-story Belfagor Arcidiavolo, and we will connect his masterpiece, La Mandragola, to Carlo Goldoni's works. We will reflect on the importance of theatre in the Italian and European society during the XVII and XVIII centuries, highlighting how the most important authors of these times are authors of theatre, from Shakespeare to Moliere, from Calderon de la Barca to Goldoni.During the second semester we will analyze in depth two genres of Italian and European literature: the 'poema cavalleresco' and the novel. We will start from an evaluation of the importance of the Italian 'corti' for the authors of the XVI century, with a particular attention to the description of the literary circles within Ferrara, an Italian 'corte' in which Boiardo, Ariosto and Tasso were able to write their masterpieces. We will continue with a close reading of a selection of 'Canti' from the 'Orlando furioso' and from the 'Gerusalemme liberata', reflecting on the style and on the main themes of the 'poema cavalleresco' and also on its capacity to merge stories from different epic cycles such as the cycle of King Arthur and the cycle of Orlando and Carlo Magno (Chanson de Roland). The last part of this study-unit will be dedicated to two European authors such as Cervantes and Rabelais who, starting from a parody of the Italian 'poema cavalleresco', were able to create the most important genre of Western literature: the novel. We will evaluate the influence of the 'poema cavalleresco', of the picaresque tales and of other literary genres for the creation of the novel.

Study-unit Aims:

The principal objective of this study-unit is to give to the students a general overview of the XVI, the XVII and the XVIII centuries, trying to understand why this period of time is known as the Modern Era.

A close reading of the most important works of the XVI, the XVII and the XVIII century (see Bibliography).

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Understand how literature needs the auxily of other disciplines such as history, politics, economics, ect. to be fully understood.
- Understand the evolution of the literary authors from the Middle Ages to the modern societies.
- Read and comprehend different Canti from the Orlando furioso and from the Gerusalemme liberata.
- Trace the evolution of Italian literature from the XVI to the XVIII century, with a particular attention to three literary genres: the 'trattato'; the theatre and the 'poema cavalleresco'
- Be aware of the importance of Italian authors for the formations of European modern nations
- Evaluate the importance of different disciplines such as history, sociology, economy, ect, to the study of literature

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Read and interpret the most important works of Niccolò Machiavelli and Carlo Goldoni.
- Compare the Italian literature of the XVI, the XVII and the XVIII century with the European literatures of the same period

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- G. Ferroni, Storia e testi della letteratura italiana, L'età delle guerre d'Italia, vol. 4, Mondadori, Milano, 2002.
- G. Ferroni, Storia e testi della letteratura italiana, La società di antico regime, vol. 5, Mondadori, Milano, 2004.
- Machiavelli, N., Il principe, Einaudi, Torino, 2005.
- Machiavelli, N., Belfagor arcidiavolo, Acquaviva, 2005.
- Machiavelli, N., La mandragola, Einaudi, Torino, 1981.
- Ariosto, L, Orlando furioso, Einaudi, Torino, 1998.
- Tasso, T., Gerusalemme liberata, Mondadori, Milano, 1983.
- Goldoni, C., La locandiera, Einaudi. Torino, 2007.

A coursepack with essays and other required readings will be provided at the beginning of the study-unit.


ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: A pass at Intermediate Level in Italian language or ask permission from the lecturer holding the study-unit.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 50%
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Valentino Baldi
Joseph M. Brincat
Fabrizio Foni

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.