Shakespeare: the Tragedies
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
20 August 2019
Requisites for this module
This course provides a focussed encounter with Shakespeare’s four great tragedies: Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth and Othello. It offers the opportunity for close reading of texts which have consistently been posed against each other, as well as in relation to Shakespeare’s complete oeuvre. The course will interrogate the degree to which these plays are indeed ‘tragedies’, and the usefulness of this generic category for understanding the plays.
Each text will be approached in terms of a context or an idea or an issue which has orientated recent critical discussion of that particular play. The course will also seek to introduce students to some of the defining critical discussions of these plays, both singly and as a group. Throughout an effort will be made to read texts historically as well as in terms of their enduring and/or present significance.
The aims of the module are:
1. To introduce students to Shakespeare's work through focussed attention to his principal tragedies
2. To familiarise students with the formal and generic innovativeness of these plays relative to sources and contexts (including Shakespeare's previous work)
3. To interrogate the generic aptness of the term 'tragedy' in each case.
After successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
1. display more detailed knowledge of Shakespeare's principal tragedies
2. critically evaluate the formal and generic character of each play
3. approach the plays critically from within their own historical moments
4. demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to engage in intellectual debates around the issues raised by this module.
No additional information available.
- Shakespeare, William; Pechter, Edward. (c2004) Othello: authoritative text, sources and contexts, criticism, New York: W.W. Norton & Co. vol. A Norton critical edition
- Shakespeare, William; Miola, Robert S. (c2011) Hamlet: text of the play, the actors' gallery, contexts, criticism, afterlives, resources, New York: W.W. Norton & Co. vol. A Norton critical edition
- Shakespeare, William. (c2014) Macbeth: the text of Macbeth, the actors' gallery, sources and contexts, criticism, afterlives, resources, New York: W.W. Norton & Company. vol. A Norton critical edition
- Shakespeare, William; Ioppolo, Grace. (c2008) King Lear: an authoritative text, sources, criticism, adaptations and responses, New York: W.W. Norton. vol. A Norton Critical edition
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Essay (4,000 words)
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Professor John Gillies
LiFTS General Office - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telephone 01206 872626
Prof Duncan James Salkeld
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can
be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements,
industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist
of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules.
The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.