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Unit information: The Masks of Don Juan: Representations of the Legendary Figure in Spain, 1630-1930 in 2015/16

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Unit name The Masks of Don Juan: Representations of the Legendary Figure in Spain, 1630-1930
Unit code HISP20082
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Kitts
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit centres on three contrasting Spanish versions of the Don Juan myth: El burlador de Sevilla o convidado de piedra, by Tirso de Molina (1630); Don Juan Tenorio by José Zorilla (1844) and Las galas del difunto by Ramón del Valle-Inclán (1930). The plays are considered within their contemporary national context and in comparison to each other, to other plays from the periods covered and to other non-Spanish re-creations of the legendary figure (read in translation where necessary), such as Molières play Don Juan ou le festine de pierre (1665), Mozart's opera (with libretto by Da Ponte) Don Giovanni (1787), and Byron's mock epic poem Don Juan (1819-24).


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to second year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level C.
  • Some options may prepare students for the experience of the Year Abroad.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgeable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • be skilled in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at a high level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an high level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including study at a foreign university and on work placements during the year abroad.

Teaching Information

1 plenary hour weekly + 2 parallel seminar groups weekly.

Assessment Information

One summative essay of 1,800-2,000 words (one-third of mark) and one two-hour examination (two-thirds of mark)

Reading and References

Set texts:

  • Tirso de Molina, El burlador de Sevilla o convidado de piedra (1630)
  • Jos Zorilla, Don Juan Tenorio (1844)
  • Ramón del Valle-Inclán, Las galas del difunto (1930)