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This module is assessed by three essays: two short essays of 1500 words and a longer essay of 3000 words.

All these essays need to be submitted and will count towards the final mark for the module. Non-submission of one or more essays will lead to failure in the module.

Essay 1 (25%): Film or Narrative
SUBMISSION DATE: Monday 5th January 2015, 4pm

Essay 2 (25%): Romantic Lyric Poetry
SUBMISSION DATE: Monday 9 February 2015

Essay 3 (50%): Renaissance Theatre

You will need to submit your essay online via tabula and hand in one copy of your essay to the Department Office in room H405 before the deadline. (remembering to include your student number but NOT your name). You should also keep a copy for yourself.

Essays must be handed in by the stipulated time. You should note that, under University Regulations extensions for submission may be granted only by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. When an extension has not been approved in advance, late submission will be penalised as follows:

A deduction of 5points per day of late submission will be deducted from the mark awarded for the work, up to a maximum of 20 points for submission on Friday of the week of the deadline. Work submitted after Friday will be given a mark of zero.

Ensure that you read and understand the guidelines on avoiding plagiarism.


There are six lectures available as podcasts via the Academic Writing Programme. Please ensure you view these lectures before you write your first assignment.

See also the Italian Department Essay Writing Guide for advice and guidance.


Deadline for Submission: Monday 5th January 2015, 4pm

You are required to write an essay of between 1500-2000 (minimum 1500 and maximum 2000) words on ONE of the topics listed below. This is the first of three assessed essays for the module and is worth 25% of the final mark.


1. ‘For Zavattini, the aim of Neo-Realism had to be to rediscover, without embellishment or dramatization the “dailiness” of people’s lives’ (Monticelli). Describe, and assess the success of, the techniques used to achieve this aim in Ladri di biciclette and/or any other neorealist film you have seen.

2. ‘Landscapes, in Neorealist films, are not a simple backdrop, a collection of still photos, they are used to embody meanings, orchestrate formal themes, demonstrate or refer by analogy to other spheres of reference’ (Sorlin). Discuss the representation of Rome in Ladri di biciclette in the light of this claim.

3. ‘Fellini’s protagonist, Marcello, an uninspiring, unlovable man, is lost in an absurd world where money is the universal criterion. The final message is a lay version of Catholicism: having got too much wealth and comfort, we have lost our sense of values’ (Sorlin). Discuss.

4. ‘I believe I never had any specific intention to denounce, criticize, scourge or satirize’ (Fellini). Do you agree that in La dolce vita Fellini takes no moral stance and avoids pronouncing judgement on the characters he has created?

5. Outline and discuss Moretti’s representation of himself in Caro diario. To what extent is this an autobiographical film?

6. Provide a close analysis of the opening and / or closing sequences of ONE of the films you have studied for this module.

7. Outline the ways in which classical narrative structures are disrupted or manipulated in one or more of the films you have studied for this module. What effect does this create?

8. With close reference to TWO OR MORE of the short stories you have studied for this course, discuss the features of theme, structure and style which contribute to the composition of a successful short story.

9. Critically discuss the representation of Sicily and Sicilians in Sciascia’s ‘Il lungo viaggio’.

10. Consider to what extent Primo Levi’s experience in the concentration camps and the memory of the Holocaust influenced his science-fiction writing.

11. Examine the notion of the role of the reader and writer that is presented in TWO of the stories in Gli amori difficili.

12. Consider how Dacia Maraini’s ‘La ragazza con la treccia’ addresses feminist concerns with the patriarchal structures of society.

13. Examine how significant social changes in Italy are addressed in two or more of the texts (films or short stories) you have studied for this module.