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Unit information: Approaches to Shakespeare in 2014/15

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Unit name Approaches to Shakespeare
Unit code ENGL10027
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Karlin
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will examine a number of works, drawn from the range of Shakespeare’s dramatic and non-dramatic writing. Together with detailed study of specific works, attention will be paid to major critical issues affecting the reading of Shakespeare, including the status of the text, historical and literary contexts, theatrical convention and production, critical reception and response. Theoretical approaches considered may include new historicism, feminism, and psychoanalysis.


  • to be able to appreciate and evaluate Shakespeares plays and poems
  • to be able to appreciate and evaluate the larger aspects of the contemporary critical discussions of Shakespeares plays and poems
  • to develop their own sense of the meaning of the adjective Shakespearean.

Intended Learning Outcomes

To enable students:

  • to gain an appreciation of the range of Shakespeares works
  • to gain a sense of the literary and generic developments in Shakespeares works
  • to gain a sense of the history of the criticism of Shakespeares works, with particular reference to the critical history of the last fifty years
  • to be able to use the appropriate critical terminology for a discussion of Elizabethan and Jacobean poetic drama
  • to be able to construct a recognizeably academic argument about aspects of Shakespeares works.

Teaching Information

3 lectures and 1 tutorial per week.

Assessment Information

  • 1 formative essay of 1,000 words
  • 1 summative essay of 2,000 words

Reading and References

Detailed reading lists will be provided by individual tutors prior to the start of teaching.