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This subject introduces students to a variety of Renaissance dramatic genres (history plays, romances, comedies of humours, domestic tragedies, satire, travel plays and tragedy), and in so doing, examines issues pertaining to the occult, religion, foreignness, politics and the early modern household. It focuses on plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries not only in terms of aesthetics but of the commercial exigencies of the early modern theatrical marketplace. It develops a historically informed conception of the London stage by treating plays as marketable commodities and part of a repertory of offerings used to compete with other companies and attract playgoer patronage. Shakespeare is treated as an outstanding playwright but also as a shareholder in his own company, with a vested interest in its commercial success.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- Develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the way that competitive commercial impulses affected the production of drama in the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods
- Understand and be able to articulate the relationship between diverse forms of Shakespearean and nonShakespearean drama and the social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them
- Acquire critical and analytical skills and methods in the analysis of eary modern dramatic genres and performances
- Be equipped to act as critically informed participants with understanding ofsignificant developments in Shakespearean criticism over the past four centuries
- Perform critical analysis, using appropriate frameworks including repertory studies, to situate a theatrical work in its intellectual and historical context.
At the completion of this subject, student should gain the following generic skills:
- The ability to communicate knowledge in oral, written and creative forms
- The ability to manage their time through productive use of time and responding to deadlines
- The ability to think and work creatively and apply imagination in responding to tasks
- The ability to think critically and analyse through recommended reading, performance analysis and discussion.
Last updated: 7 December 2023