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Shakespeare and Performance


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6

Module description

Shakespeare’s plays arguably only exist as such when encountered not as books but as present-day live performances; but such has been their author’s status as a keystone of our notions of writing and the literary that no corpus of drama has been so haunted by recurrent anxieties about authority and authenticity. This course will focus on the recent stage history of three plays which the modern and post-modern stage has found especially fruitful - A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and The Tempest. Students are advised to familiarise themselves with the texts of these plays before the start of the course (for Hamlet, ideally in the three-text Arden edition, edited by Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor, 2005-6). During the course they will be required to attend two live performances (tba) as well as undertaking historical and theoretical reading.