Archive for reference only

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - French

Undergraduate Course: French theatre (1700s-1830s) and the making of revolutions: politics, love and fantasy... (ELCF10072)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEuropean Languages and Cultures - French Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course will explore the ways in which (pre/post) Revolutionary playwrights defied the 'dominant' ideology by bringing to the fore 'alien' notions, such as gender, race and class, natural right, and have thus shaped today's notions of ethics, individual freedom, equality, and welfare. In other words, despite the generally accepted opposition between 'the twilight of the Enlightenment and the "triumphant" dawn of Romanticism', how did playwrights (male and female) from both eras experiment with 'new' dramatic forms to convey their beliefs in a new order and better society, and thus express a common experience of revolution and of selfhood? How did they engage with contemporary history and society? Last but not least, what does the reception of plays by writers such as Marivaux, Beaumarchais, Olympe de Gouge, Victor Hugo and Alfred de Musset tell us about how subversive and deviant, or innovative these dramatists were? and why do some of them still captivate modern audiences, or have recently sparked off unprecedented interest? Finally (but perhaps not...), what of the power of love and fantasy in works seemingly or hidingly driven by a revolutionary impulse?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Entry to honours in French.
Additional Costs Purchase of primary reading books
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. As in all French Options, students should, by the end of the course, be able:

* to demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the chosen specialism(s)
* to recognise and acknowledge the complexity of the subject
* to show a good understanding of and apply competently complex conceptual frameworks
* to construct coherent arguments which demonstrate an awareness of the problems posed by the texts/ issues which they are studying
* to demonstrate a high level of expression in both written and oral presentations
* to demonstrate the mastery of relevant technical terminology and research methods
* to carry out personal research under the guidance of the tutor and offer evidence of research initiative
* to offer alternative perspectives, identify and accommodate ambiguities and show an awareness of nuance
* to develop original ideas
* to demonstrate an awareness of the research agenda relating to the topic.
2. More specifically this course will enable a better understanding of:

* the history of ideas in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century France (classciscism, enlightenment, pre-romanticism, and romanticism)
* the evolution of theatrical genres (¿bourgeois¿, patriotic, historical and romantic drama, opera) and their reception from the 18th to the 21st centuries.
* the literary and cultural representation of gender, class, race issues, marriage, love and happiness in the long eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries
* politics and philosophy (with particular attention to concepts such as absolute/ constitutional monarchy, natural right, republicanism, colonialism and slavery)
* the French Revolution, Bonapartism, the July Monarchy
Assessment Information
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description French theatre in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries arose as a major forum for the dissemination of philosophical and political debates that led up to the French Revolution, and later, following Napoleon's fall, to more political unrest during the Bourbon Restoration (1814-1830). It also gave birth to the drame bourgeois, and the drame romantique, both questioning and rejecting the 'old ways', be it at an aesthetic or ideological level, or both. While exploring the ways in which playwrights (both male and female) engaged with contemporary politics and societal issues, this course will also reflect, through close analysis of the primary texts, on the many dramaturgic strategies (e.g: recycling of well-trodden comedic plots, of romantic doomed tales, etc., and also stylitic and thematic innovation, paving the way for more literary revolutions ) which these authors used through their texts to convey their critique of, and beliefs in a better, society, and invest their texts, with an everlasting appeal to today's audiences.
Syllabus This option will be primarily text-based but will also include screenings of plays, wherever available.

The texts studied may vary from one year to another; but the course will generally cover plays by eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century playwrights, and will consist of
Introduction plus 2 or 3 two-hour sessions per text, followed by overview/ revision classes
Set texts will vary from year to year but will normally consist of a selection from the following :

Marivaux, L'Ile des esclaves (1725)
Marivaux, Les Fausses confidences (1737)
Beaumarchais, Le Barbier de Séville (1775)
Beaumarchais, Le Mariage de Figaro (1778)
Olympe de Gouges, L'Esclavage des Noirs (1792)
Alfred de Musset Lorenzaccio(1833)
Alfred de Musset, Les Caprices de Marianne (1833)
Victor Hugo, Ruy Blas (1838)
A. Auvain, H. Goldwyn and P. Gethner (eds.), Anthologie du théâtre des femmes, 16ième-18ième siècle, vol. 3, Saint-Etienne: Presses Universitaires de Saint-Etienne, 2011
Voltaire, Zaïre (1732) Jean Goldzinck (ed.), Garnier-Flammarion 2004
Transferable skills This course has the same aims as all French Options, which are well established and universally praised by both students and external examiners as fostering depth of understanding of rich intellectual fields and the ability to write and speak about them intelligently and cogently in French.
Reading list Primary texts for 2014-15:

Marivaux, L'Ile des esclaves (1725)
Beaumarchais, Le Mariage de Figaro (1778)
Olympe de Gouges, L'Esclavage des Noirs (1792)
Alfred de Musset Lorenzaccio(1833)
Victor Hugo, Ruy Blas (1838)

Secondary reading in preparation for the course seminars:

* Lever, Maurice Grande et petite histoire de la Come´die-Franc¸aise : le Sie`cle des Lumie`res, 1680-1799. (Fayard, 2006)
* Le Théâtre français du XIXe siècle, ed. Hélène Laplace-Claverie, Sylvain Ledda, Florence Naugrette (Paris, Éd. L'avant-scène théâtre, 2008)
* Cecilia Feilla, The Sentimental theatre of the French Revolution (Ashgate, 2013)
* McCready, Susan, The Limits of Romantic Theatre (Durham UP, 2007)
* Ubersfeld, Anne, Le Drame romantique (Belin, 1993)
* Diderot, Entretiens sur le fils naturel (1757)
* Victor Hugo, ¿Preface¿ to Cromwell (1827)

Further reading for Dissertation preparation:

* Brown, Gregory S., A field of Honor: writers, court culture and public theater in French literary life from Racine to the Revolution (Columbia University Press, 2005)
* Finch, Alison, Women¿s writing in the nineteenth century (Cambridge UP, 2000), chapter 8.
* Goldzink, Jean, Comique et come´die au sie`cle des Lumie`res (L'Harmattan,2004)
* Kadler, Eric H. Literary figures in French drama (1784-1834) (the Hague: Martinus Nijhoff,1986)
* Letzer, J. and Adelson, R., Women Writing Opera: Creativity and Controversy in the Age of the French Revolution (California UP, 2001) (if you are interested in that aspect of theatre studies)
* Lever, Maurice Grande et petite histoire de la Come´die-Franc¸aise : le Sie`cle des Lumie`res, 1680-1799 (Fayard, 2006)
* Maslan, Susan Revolutionary Acts: Theater, Democracy, and the French Revolution (John Hopkins, 2005)
* Perchellet, Jean-Pierre, L'He´ritage classique : la trage´die entre 1680 et 1814 (Honoré Champion, 2004)
* Stendhal, Racine et Shakespeare (1823) [any edition]
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Students will be required to read the primary texts, and secondary texts as appropriate to their essays and exposés for the seminars. They will also be asked to do group work on a number of guided self-instructional commentary exercises in class and outside the tutorials (Autonomous learning groups).
KeywordsEnlightenment Romantiscism Theatre Opera Drame bourgeois Drame romantique French Revolution Phil
Course organiserDr Severine Genieys-Kirk
Tel: (0131 6)51 1734
Course secretaryMrs Jacqueline Barnhart
Tel: (0131 6)50 4026
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 13 January 2014 4:01 am