Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

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

Undergraduate Course: Seventeenth Century French Theatre (Ordinary) (ELCF09013)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe literature of the seventeenth century reflects some important religious and political trends. After a brief exposition of theatre under the reign of Louis XIII, this course will look at the impact of absolute monarchy and Jansenism on the literature in the second half of the century.
Course description This course will trace the representation of the human condition from the triumph of the hero (Corneille) to 'la démolition du héros' (Racine) following the decline of the aristocracy and the rise of the bourgeoisie under Louis XIV (Molière). Through close analysis of a selection of texts, the course aims to encourage students to engage knowledgeably and critically with texts and ideas relating to literature, philosophy and the history of ideas. Topics to be studied include the following: social context, linguistic and cultural signifiers, It will also examine notions of genre, Baroque, neo-classicism and metatheatre.
Classes will focus on individual texts but include comparative elements.
Students will be expected to do independent research on various topics, which will then be presented in class, and to lead discussions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( French 2 Literature and Culture (ELCF08012) AND French 2 Language (ELCF08013)) AND
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Ordinary Students and Visiting Students only
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIn order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To demonstrate an advanced knowledge of a range of drama texts from the seventeenth century in their socio-historical and cultural contexts as well as a good understanding of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks needed to analyse them
  2. To select and apply relevant theoretical and methodological approaches in their critical evaluation of dramatic texts and to demonstrate mastery of relevant technical terminology and research methods
  3. To assess and synthesise primary and secondary sources and to engage critically with these sources, showing awareness of nuance and accommodating ambiguities
  4. To construct coherent arguments which engage effectively with the sources and the relevant contexts and to present them with a high level of clarity in both oral and written form
  5. To demonstrate autonomy and initiative in their activities, carry out independent research under the guidance of the tutor, and to show awareness of their own and others' roles and responsibilities as part of a team
Reading List
Corneille, L'Illusion Comique, Le Cid
Molière, Le Misanthrope, Le Tartuffe
Racine, Andromaque, Athalie
Rotrou, Le Véritable Saint Genest (HATIER EDITION)

Aristotle, On the Art of Poetry*
Descartes, Le Discours de la Méthode
Pascal, Les Lettres provinciales
La Bruyère, Les Caractères
La Rochefoucauld, Maximes

Adam A., Histoire de la litterature française au 17ème siècle, tome 4
Adam A., le Théâtre français classique
Bénichou P., Morales du Grand Siècle*
Bray R., La formation de la doctrine classique en France
Cognet L., Le Jansénisme
Cruickshank J., French Literature and its Background, 2- The Seventeenth Century.
Fischer-Lichte E., History of European Drama and Theatre (Chapters 2 and 3)
Forestier G., Passions Tragiques et Règles Classiques*
Goldmann L., Le Dieu caché*
Gossip C. J., An Introduction to Classical French Tragedy
Hammond N., Creative Tensions: an Introduction to Seventeenth-Century French Literature*
Jacquot J., Ed, Dramaturgie et société : rapports entre l'ouvre théâtrale, son interprétation et son public aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles
Lough J., Introduction to Seventeenth-Century France
Lough J., Seventeenth-Century French Drama
Méthivier h., Le Siècle de Louis XIV
Phillips H., The Theatre and its Critics in Seventeenth-Century France*
--------- , Church and Culture in Seventeenth-Century France
Turnell M., The classical Moment: studies of Corneille, Molière and Racine
Tournand J.-C., Introduction à la vie littéraire du XVIIème siècle
Ubersfeld A., Lire le théâtre*
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have further developed their skills in the areas of research and enquiry, personal and intellectual autonomy, communication, and personal effectiveness. For further specification of these skills see the university's graduate and employability skills framework at
KeywordsDELC O 17th C Fr
Course organiserDr Veronique Desnain
Tel: (0131 6)50 3054
Course secretaryMrs Elsie Gach
Tel: (0131 6)50 8421
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