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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - German

Undergraduate Course: Goethe and Schiller (Ordinary) (ELCG09011)

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 course is designed to introduce students to a selection of key literary and theoretical texts written by Goethe and Schiller. The course themes are freedom, free will, heroism and tragedy.
Course description This course focuses on a selection of works by Goethe and Schiller that led them to become the most iconic writers of their time and beyond. The first bestseller novel in Germany was Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werther (1774) and it broke the mould with its controversial theme of suicide. He presents a sentimental, emotional, and self-destructive tragic hero as an alternative to heroic masculinity. Both their respective first plays, Goethe's Götz von Berlichingen (1773) and Schiller's Die Räuber (1781), question the place of the "warrior" hero in a modern society. Goethe's knight Götz clings on to the old chivalric ways, at the dawn of the modern era of civil justice around the year 1500 in Germany. Schiller's Die Räuber is also set around 1500. His Karl Moor is a new configuration of a deviant tragic hero with vices. Schiller rejects the Aristotelian dramatic tradition by arguing that the suffering of a criminal can be as tragic as that of a virtuous man. Both tragedies gave voice to major changes in German theatre that embraced the spirit of Shakespeare and addressed the struggle of the self to achieve autonomy. These two plays focus on free will, free action and emancipation from social restrictions. In the final part of the course, you will study Goethe's most famous work, Faust I (1808). This turns our focus to a discussion of the Faustian drive, which is an insatiable desire for knowledge that knows no boundaries and is uncompromising in its desire for the experience of totality. In addition to these literary texts we will be studying a small selection of Goethe's and Schiller's theoretical essays on tragedy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNon-honours and Visiting Students should be enrolled on the SCQF Level 9 course variant. Advanced knowledge of spoken and written German and the ability to study German literature in the original language is recommended. Ideally, prior experience of university-level German literature courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  3
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% Oral presentation (podcast) on Tuesday of Week 11 (10 mins)

70% Coursework essay (1,750 words) on Tuesday of Week 14

Feedback dates:
Podcast: Week 13
Essay : Week 16
Feedback Students will receive a grade and written feedback on their coursework, with the option of verbal feedback on request.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the primary and secondary sources related to this course and a critical understanding of the key ideas, themes and texts
  2. Select and use relevant secondary sources in the analytical assessment of the primary texts and themes
  3. Construct and present clear and coherent arguments in written form, supported by relevant evidence, ideas and examples, in relation to the key texts and themes of this course
  4. Summarize and critically review the content of published academic research on the key texts and themes of this course.
  5. Orally present clear arguments and the results of research undertaken, and convey information on the key topics and issues relating to the key texts and themes of the course
Reading List
Götz von Berlichingen (1773)
Die Leiden des jungen Werther (1787)
Faust I (1808)

Die Räuber (1781)

Other short theoretical texts and secondary reading are outlined on Learn.
Reclam versions of the primary texts are preferred.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have further developed their skills in the areas of independent and guided learning, 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
KeywordsGoethe Schiller freedom
Course organiserDr Eleoma Bodammer
Tel: (0131 6)50 3627
Course secretaryMs Ashley Stein
Tel: (0131 6)50 4465
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