Module Identifier DR31230  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Richard A D Cheshire  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Professor Ioan M Williams  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 1 hour  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 1 hour  
  Practical   5 x 2 hour  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam 1 x 2 hour examination For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at 40%
Semester Assessment 2 x 2500 word essays The deadline for the first essay will be at the end of the fifth teaching week and the titles of this essay will be based on the students? study of French Neo-Classical Tragedy and/or Comedy. The deadline for the second essay will be at the end of the tenth teaching week and the titles of this essay will be based on the students? study of English Restoration Comedy. 50%
Semester Assessment 1 small group class presentation  10%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Critically analyse selected texts in their social, political, historical and theatrical contexts.

Make an effective presentation as part of a group based on the analysis of course material selected by the module coordinator.

Demonstrate the ability to meet the challenge of designing appropriate performances of selected scenes from the texts studied.


the aims of the module are to:

Give students the opportunity to study French Neo-classical and English Restoration Theatre in their social, political, historical and theatrical contexts.
Critically investigate the play-texts of selected playwrights.
Challenge commonly held assumptions about how the plays were originally staged and the audiences? response to them.
Explore the challenges of interpreting these texts for modern audiences in contemporary performance conditions.

Brief description

This module examines key 17th Century Neo-classical French and English Restoration play-texts and investigates their social, political, historical and theatrical contexts. Typically, lectures and seminars will examine topics such as: the conventions and practices of the seventeenth century French and English playhouses; French neo- classical dramatic theory; influences on the English Restoration playwrights; Bergson?s theory of comedy; a study of selected English and French playwrights and a detailed study of key texts; the interpretation of these texts for modern theatre audiences; twentieth-century revivals and the production choices made for significant productions. During the practical classes students will focus specifically on the challenges facing the modern actor/actress when interpreting texts from page to stage in contemporary performance conditions.

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
Behn The Rover
Congreve 'The Double Dealer' and 'The Way of the World'
Corneille Le Cid
Etherege 'The Man of Mode' and 'She Would if she Could'
Moliere 'L'ecole des Femmes', 'Les Misanthrop' and 'Tartuffe'
Racine 'Phedre', 'Andromache' and 'Britannicus'
Wicherley 'Love in a Wood', 'The Country Wife' and 'The Plain Dealer'
** Recommended Background
Arnott, P (1977) An Introduction to French Theatre London: Macmillan Press
Bergson, H. (1921) Laughter Bereton and Rothwell
Calder, Andrew (1993) Moliere: the theory and practice of comedy London Atlantic Highlands: Athlone Press
Callow, Simon (1991) Acting in Restoration Comedy Applause Theatre Books
Canfield, J. Douglas (1997) Tricksters and Estates: on the Ideology of Restoration Comedy Lexington: University of Kentucky Press
Carmody, James Patrick (1993) Rereading Moliere: mise en scene from Antoine to Vitez University of Michigan Press
Clark, Max Stafford (1990) Letters to George - An account of a rehearsal Nick Hearn Books
Fisk, Deborah Payne (Ed) (2000) The Cambridge Companion to English Restoration Theatre Cambridge University Press
Loftis, John (1966) Restoration Drama Oxford University Press
Lough, J. (1979) Seventeenth Century French Drama - The Background Oxford University Press
Powell, Jocelyn (1984) Restoration Theatre Production London: Routledge and Kegan Paul
Styan, J. L. (1986) Restoration Comedy in Performance Cambridge University Press
Thomas, David (Ed) (1989) Restoration and Georgian England, 1660 to 1788. Theatre in Europe: a Documentary History Cambridge University Press
Owen, Susan J. (1996) Restoration Theatre and Crisis Oxford: Clarendon Press
Mallinson, G.J. (1984) The Comedies of Pierre Corneille: experiments in the comic Manchester: Manchester University Press
Master, Anthony (1992) The Play of Personality in Restoration Comedy Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press
Turnell, Martin (1964) The Classical Moment London: Hamish Hamilton


This module is at CQFW Level 6