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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Early Drama: Performance and Reception (ENLI10283)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will study a range of plays written and performed in England and Scotland from the late medieval period to the early Renaissance. It will explore the ways in which dramatists represented important social and political issues, addressing themes such as political power and disorder, morality and vice, male and female sexuality, and spiritual redemption through often startling combinations of comedy, pathos, humanity, and brutality. It will also look at the ways in which these plays self-reflexively examine dramatic representation itself as an issue, foregrounding their own performances and the responses of spectators as parts of the process of play-making. The ways in which early drama has been represented on the modern stage will also be considered, via recordings of modern productions of early plays (and where possible live productions), in order to explore the challenges of producing early drama in the modern theatre.

It offers students the opportunity to explore dramatic works written in very different cultural contexts, and to consider how far Medieval and early Renaissance concepts of performance and reception, comedy, tragedy, pleasure and suffering have relevance for modern audiences. It will encourage students to read plays not merely as texts but as scripts for (and sometimes also records of) performance. The emphasis will be on gaining an understanding of how these plays may have been realised in production in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and how they have been (or might be) imaginatively recreated by directors and companies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the course of the term, students will be able to respond to the success or otherwise of a variety of modern productions through a number of written reviews.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse dramatic texts as records of and/or scripts for performance
  2. Discuss critically the central features of drama in the pre-playhouse period
  3. Discuss the cultural background to key pre-Shakespearean dramatic texts
  4. View dramatic productions in a sophisticated and informed way, alive to both the similarities and differences between the early and modern stage
  5. Write a brief, informed review of a dramatic production
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Numbers are limited, with priority given to students taking degrees involving English or Scottish Literature and Visiting Students placed by the Admissions Office. Students not in these categories need the written approval of the Head of English Literature before enrolling. In the case of excess applications places will be decided by ballot.
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 hour(s) per week for 10 week(s): attendance at Autonomous Learning Group for one hour a week at times to be arranged.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Greg Walker
Course secretaryMrs Anne Mason
Tel: (0131 6)50 3618
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