Module Identifier EN35620  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr Paulina Kewes  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminar   20 Hours 10 x 2 hr  
Assessment Continuous assessment   2 essays (2,500 words each)   100%  
  Resit assessment   Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements.    

Brief description
The rewriting and reputation of Shakespeare in the Restoration and eighteenth century will be explored. At the start of the period Shakespeare was considered a minor and obsolete writer - by its end he had become, in Michael Dobson's words, 'the national poet'. Yet the Shakespeare known to the 18th century is not the Shakespeare known to us .His plays were extensively adapted, in versions which proved vastly and lastingly popular, to meet the commerical, political, and aesthetic demands of the time. A series of Shakespeare's plays will be compared with their adaptations and we shall also be reading contemporary critical commentaries on Shakespeare. We shall ask how changes of literary value reflect the emergence of new social and cultural attitudes. Among the themes that will arise are: the uses of theatrical spectacle, music, and song; shifting concepts of tragedy and comedy; representations of gender and cultural difference; the contribution of drama both to political propoganda and to the formation of national identity.

Outline syllabus

Plays:- You can use a collected edition of Shakespeare (Oxford, Norton, Riverside) although I'd encourage you to consult editions of individual plays in the New Arden, New Cambridge, or New Oxford series. The Dryden-Davenant Tempest is reprinted in Sandra Clark (ed.) Shakespeare Made Fit: Restoration Adaptations of Shakespeare (London: Everyman, 1997). Stoppard's Rozencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead is available in paperback.