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

Undergraduate Course: Playing the World: Early Modern Theatricality, Then and Now (ENLI10400)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers the opportunity for students to engage with a number of early modern plays while exploring the significance of theatricality in both early modern and contemporary critical discourse and performance practice. The course will focus on some key examples of dramatic writing from the early modern period, and will develop students' understanding of theatricality in different historical moments. These works will be examined primarily as performance texts, and attention will be paid to modes of staging in early modernity and in our own time. It will seek to extend students' knowledge and understanding of the concept of theatrical performance, as that concept is developed both in the self-reflexive theatre of early modernity and in critical investigation of that theatre.
Course description How do the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries work in performance? How can their original function as performance texts be made visible for the contemporary reader, practitioner and theatregoer? In what ways are the possibilities and constraints of early modern theatrical practice acknowledged or exploited by the dramatic writers of the time? This course will help students to explore these questions through critical and practical exploration of some exemplary theatrical writing from the early modern period. It will seek to explore early modern plays as a set of active performance possibilities, and to develop an understanding of the concepts of theatricality and performance, as these are developed both in the self-reflexive theatre of early modernity and in contemporary performance practice. It will begin with a focus on the differences and continuities between early modern and contemporary performance possibilities and conventions, then move into the analysis of contemporary productions of early modern plays, before continuing through paired seminars and workshops focused on the key topics of drama and metadrama, performative gender, and the performance of power.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) OR English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) AND Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) AND Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025) OR Scottish Literature 2A (ENLI08022) AND Scottish Literature 2B (ENLI08023) OR English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) AND Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show a working knowledge and understanding of early modern practices of theatrical performance and contemporary styles of performing early modern drama
  2. Analyse early modern performance texts and contemporary productions
  3. Assess a range of writing on early modern theatricality by modern and contemporary critics
  4. Undertake the critical analysis of early modern texts through performance practice
Reading List

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ben Jonson, Epicene, or The Silent Woman
Philip Massinger, The Roman Actor

Further Reading

Aebischer, Pascale, Shakespeare's Violated Bodies: Stage and Screen Performance (2004)
Artaud, Antonin, The Theatre and its Double (1958)
Bakhtin, Mikhail, Rabelais and his World (1968)
Barish, Jonas, The Antitheatrical Prejudice (1981)
Bial, Henry, ed., The Performance Studies Reader (2004)
Campbell, Patrick, ed., Analysing Performance: Issues and Interpretations (1996).
Carlson, Marvin, Performance: a Critical Introduction (1996)
Barton, Anne, Ben Jonson, Dramatist (1984)
Berger, Harry, Imaginary Audition: Shakespeare on Stage and Page (1992)
Braunmuller, A. R. and Michael Hattaway. Eds. The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Drama (1990)
Bristol, Michael, Carnival and Theatre (1985)
Bulman, James, ed., Shakespeare, Theory and Performance (1996)
Burt, Richard, Licensed By Authority: Ben Jonson and the Discourse of Censorship (1993)
Calderwood, James. Metadrama in Shakespeare's Henriad, Richard II to Henry V (1979)
Calderwood, James. Shakespearean Metadrama: The Argument of the Play in Titus Andronicus, Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard II (1971)
Case, Sue Ellen. Ed. Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre (1990)
Cave, Richard Allen, Ben Jonson (1991)
Cave, Richard, Elizabeth Schafer and Brian Woolland. Eds. Ben Jonson and Theatre: Performance, Practice and Theory (1999)
Chambers, E. K., The Elizabethan Stage (1923)
de Grazia, Margreta and Stanley Wells. Eds. Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. CUP, 2006.
Dillon, Janette, Theatre, Court and City 1595-1610 (2000)
Dollimore, Jonathan, Radical Tragedy (1984)
Dutton, Richard, ed., Ben Jonson (2000)
Dutton, Richard. Ed. Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre (2009)
Eagleton, Terry, William Shakespeare (1986)
Escolme, Bridget Talking to the Audience: Shakespeare, Performance, Self (2005)
Gurr, Andrew and Ichikawa, Mariko, Staging in Shakespeare's Theatres (2000)
Gurr, Andrew, Playgoing in Shakespeare's London (1987)
Gurr, Andrew, The Shakespearean Stage (1992)
Harp, Richard and Stanley Stewart. Eds. Cambridge Companion to Ben Jonson (2006)
Hattaway, Michael. Ed. Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's history plays (2006)
Haynes, Jonathan, The Social Relations of Jonson's Theater (1992)
Hodgdon, Barbara, and W. B. Worthen. Companion to Shakespeare and Performance (2005)
Hodges, C. Walter, Enter the Whole Army (1999)
Howard, Jean, The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England (1994)
Kahn, Coppelia, Roman Shakespeare : warriors, wounds, and women (1997)
Kastan, David, and Stallybrass, Peter, eds, Staging the Renaissance (1991)
Laqueur, Thomas, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (1990/2)
Leggatt, Alexander. Ed. Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Comedy (2006)
Levine, Laura, Men in Women's Clothing (1994)
Lindley, David, ed., The Court Masque (1984)
Lopez, Jeremy, Theatrical Convention and Audience Response in Early Modern England (2003)
Loxley, James, and Mark Robson, Shakespeare, Jonson and the Claim of the Performative (2013)
Loxley, James, Ben Jonson (2002)
Loxley, James. Performativity (2007)
Martin, Matthew, Between Theater and Philosophy (2001)
Mason Vaughan, Virginia, Performing Blackness (2005)
McEachern, Claire. Ed. Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy (2006)
McLuskie, Kathleen, Renaissance Dramatists (1989)
Morris, Pam, ed., The Bakhtin Reader (1994)
Mullaney, Steven, The Place of the Stage (1988)
Orgel, Steven, Impersonations (1996)
Parker, Andrew, and Sedgwick, Eve, eds, Performativity and Performance (1995)
Parker, Patricia, ed., Shakespeare and the Question of Theory (1985)
Redmond, James, ed., Theatrical Space (1987)
Righter, Anne. Shakespeare and the Idea of the Play (1962)
Salih, Sara, Judith Butler (2001)
Schechner, Richard, Performance Studies: an Introduction (2002)
Shepherd, Simon, Drama / Theatre / Performance (2004)
Smith, Emma and Garrett Sullivan. Eds. Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy (2010)
Stern, Tiffany and Simon Palfrey. Shakespeare in Parts (2007)
Styan, John L., Drama, Stage and Audience (1975)
Stern, Tiffany. Documents of Performance in Early Modern England (2009)
Stern, Tiffany. Making Shakespeare: from Stage to Page (2006)
Sullivan, Garrett, Patrick Cheney, and Andrew Had eld, eds. Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion (2005)
Tennenhouse, Leonard, Power on Display (1986)
Vice, Sue, Introducing Bakhtin (1997)
Weimann , Robert Authority and Representation in Early Modern Discourse (1996)
Weimann, Robert and Douglas Bruster. Shakespeare and the Power of Performance: Stage and Page in the Elizabethan Theatre (2008)
Weimann, Robert, Shakespeare and the Popular Tradition (1977)
Wells, Stanley and Sarah Stanton. Eds. Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage (2002)
West, Russell, Spatial Representations and the Jacobean Stage (2002)
Womack, Peter, Ben Jonson (1986)
Womack, Peter, English Renaissance Drama (2006)
Woolland, Brian, ed. Jonsonians: Living Traditions (2003)
Worthen, W.B, A Companion to Shakespeare and Performance (2005)
Worthen, W. B. Shakespeare and the Force of Modern Performance (2003)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop skills in observation and analysis through their work on performance analysis; through their participation in seminars they will develop their communication skills; through collaboration in the workshops they will develop teamwork and leadership skills, as well as in devising practical modes of enquiry.
KeywordsEarly Modern Drama,Theatricality,Performance,Shakespeare
Course organiserProf James Loxley
Tel: (0131 6)50 3610
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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