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Term 1 Schedule

In 2021-22, the primary text for Term 1 will be Troilus and Cressida, which students should purchase in the Arden edition (ed. David Bevington, revised edition 2015).

Week 1: Introduction

Primary texts: Troilus and Cressida

Kidnie, Margaret Jane (2005) 'Where is Hamlet? Text, Performance, and Adaptation' in Barbara Hodgdon & W. B. Worthen [eds] A Companion to Shakespeare and Performance, Chichester: Blackwell, pp. 101-20.

Sanders, Julie (2016) ‘What is Adaptation?’ and ‘What is Appropriation?’ in Adaptation and Appropriation, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 17-41. [Link currently broken, so please download the whole book here and scroll to the relevant chapters.]

Secondary texts:

Bevington, David (2015) ‘Introduction’ to The Arden Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, Revised Edition, London and New York: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, pp. 1-123.

Leitch, Thomas (2012) 'Adaptation and Intertextuality, or, What isn't an Adaptation, and What Does it Matter?' in Deborah Cartmell [ed.] A Companion to Literature, Film and Adaptation, Chichester: Blackwell, pp. 87-104.

Week 2: Shakespeare's intertextuality

Primary texts: selections from Homer, Chaucer, Henryson (PDFs available to download from the course Moodle)

If you find Chaucer's Middle English a struggle, you can read the same excerpts from Troilus and Criseyde in a modern translation here:

  • Book 1, 1-203: pp. 3-6
  • Book 2, 687-812: pp. 36-8
  • Book 4, 1212-end: pp. 112-20
  • Book 5, 666-770: pp. 132-4
  • Book 5, 1023-99: pp. 139-40
  • Book 5, 1751-end: pp. 151-3

You can also read a modern translation of Henryson's The Testament of Cresseid here.

Secondary text: Bevington, David (2015) ‘“Instructed by the Antiquary Times”: Shakespeare’s Sources’ in The Arden Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, Revised Edition, London and New York: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, pp. 409-31.

Archival material: Early European Books

Week 3: Early adaptations

Primary text: John Dryden, Troilus and Cressida, or Truth Found Too Late (1679) in Maximillian E. Novak and George Robert Guffey (1984) (eds), The Works of John Dryden, Volume 13, Oxford: Oxford University Press, AND/OR Internet Archive scan of original 1679 printing

Secondary text: Bernhardt, W. W. (1969) ‘Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and Dryden’s Truth Found too Late, Shakespeare Quarterly, 20: 2, pp. 129-141.

Archival material: Folger Digital Image Collection

Week 4: Neglect and Rediscovery

Primary texts:

Prompt books from the Folger Shakespeare Library (selected pages TBC)


Archival material from William Poel's 1912 production (PDFs available to download from the Moodle)

Secondary texts:

Falocco, Joe (2010) 'Chapter 1: William Poel' in Reimagining Shakespeare's Playhouse: Early Modern Staging Conventions in the Twentieth Century, Woodbridge, UK & Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, pp. 7-36.

Thomson, Peter (2008) ‘William Poel’ in John Russell Brown [ed.] The Routledge Companion to Directors’ Shakespeare, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 356-73.

Week 5: Troilus and war

Primary text: Olivia Manning, The Great Fortune (1960)

Secondary texts: Mooney, Harry J. (1982) ‘Olivia Manning: witness to history’ in Thomas F. Staley [ed.] Twentieth-Century Women Novelists, London: Macmillan, pp. 39-60.

Meyers, Jeffrey (2009) 'The Play’s the Thing', The New Criterion 28:1, pp. 22-7.

Optional screening: Fortunes of War (60-minute episode, BBC, 1987)

Week 7: Troilus in New York

Primary texts: New York Shakespeare Festival archival material (PDF available to download from the Moodle)

Papp, Joseph (1967) ‘Directing Troilus and Cressida’ in Bernard Beckerman and Joseph Papp [eds] The Festival Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, New York: Macmillan, pp. 23-72.

Week 8: Remaking Chaucer: Cressida before and after Shakespeare

Primary texts:

Selected poems from Lavinia Greenlaw, A Double Sorrow – Troilus and Crisedye (London: Faber&Faber, 2014): ‘A double sorrow’, ‘Criseyde’, ‘A form of speech’, ‘Like an oriental pearl’, ‘The slipping night’, ‘What is Criseyde worth when from Troilus?’, ‘A blade’, ‘Shall she be cursed’, ‘Cast’, and ‘Her last words’

George Whetstone, ‘Cressids Complaint’ in The Rock of Regarde (London: H. Middleton, 1576).

Secondary Text:

Holly A. Crocker, ‘The Matter of Virtue, from Henryson to Shakespeare’ in The Matter of Virtue (Pennsylvania: University of Press, 2019), pp.88-107. 

Week 9: Troilus in te reo Māori

Primary text: Ngākau Toa’s Māori adaptation A Toroihi rāua ko Kāhiri (2012 - in te reo Māori with English synopsis)

Secondary text:

Silverstone, Catherine (2013) ‘Festival showcasing and cultural regeneration’, in Susan Bennett and Christie Carson [eds] Shakespeare Beyond English: A Global Experiment, Cambridge University Press, pp. 35-47.

Optional screening: Road to the Globe: Troilus and Cressida (52-minute documentary, 2013)

Week 10: Troilus in the future

Primary text: The Royal Shakespeare Company's 2018 production, directed by Gregory Doran

Secondary texts:

Chernaik, Warren (2019) ‘Review of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (directed by Gregory Doran) at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon, 22 October 2018’, Shakespeare 15:2, pp. 195-7.

Marcia Eppich-Harris (2019) ‘"I wish'd myself a man, / Or that we women had men's privilege": Troilus and Cressida at the Royal Shakespeare Company’, Early Modern Culture 14: 27.