Topics


Ideas of genre in the Renaissance, especially tragedy; imitation and emulation; revenge and justice; concepts of love; and the trustworthiness of language to convey thought and feeling.

 

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Objectives


The purpose of this course is to improve students’ skills of literary analysis while introducing them to both the dramatic works of Renaissance England and the non-dramatic materials on which they were often based. This comparative approach is designed to bring into relief the distinctive formal features, generic possibilities, and driving ideas of English Renaissance drama.

 

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Organisation


The majority of classroom time will be spent discussing the texts. Lectures will be interspersed to illuminate useful concepts in literary history. There is no separate discussion section.

 

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Assessment


Assessment is by 100% coursework, consisting of:
40% midterm writing assignment
50% final writing assignment
10% participation

 

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Texts


William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597)
Below is a chronological list of sources upon which Shakespeare’s play, to varying degrees, was based.
Massuccio Salernitano, Il Novellino (1476)
Luigi Da Porto, Historia novellamente ritrovata di due nobili amanti (1524)
Matteo Bandello, Novelle (1554)
Pierre Boaistuau, Histoires tragiques (1559)
Arthur Brooke, The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet (1562)
William Painter, The Palace of Pleasure (1566)
We will also read one or — time permitting — two of these texts. Selections to be determined and, in relevant cases, translated into English.

 

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Last updated: 21 July 2017