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Module Aims

By the end of the module, students should (be able to):

Have consolidated their skills in reading narrative, poetry and drama

Comment illuminatingly on a passage of dramatic poetry

Analyse the dramatic structure, appearance and effect of a scene

Comment on the ideas in a play and the way they are presented

Know enough about Elizabethan and Jacobean conditions of performance to think about how the dramatists use the resources of the stage and how the ensemble nature of theatrical companies influenced play composition and production

Have sufficient experience of live and film performances of the plays to be able to talk about the impact of particular scenes today

Have some familiarity with problems of textual transmission and editing in the plays

Know a group of plays well enough to understand how the separate scenes and speeches of the play contribute to the whole

Know a range of plays such that they can begin to ask questions about Shakespeare’s development

Know some plays by Shakespeare and Marlowe so that they can address the issue of connections and dependencies between them

Have some critical awareness of the traditions of Shakespeare criticism

Use their knowledge of Shakespeare to think about problems which concern them

Understand how some of the major issues and themes dramatised in Shakespeare’s plays – love, war, sexuality, religion, law, civilization, race, gender etc – function in an early modern context while continuing to challenge readers and spectators today.