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Unit information: Hamlet: Text and Interpretation in 2020/21

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Unit name Hamlet: Text and Interpretation
Unit code ENGLM3012
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Lee
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This Unit involves an in-depth study of Hamlet. Particular emphases are placed on the interpretative history of the play, in both discursive and creative forms, and on the textual problems which the play presents. The unit examines intertextual Shakespeare by way of a number of categorizations current in literary study including history, gender, and genre. The last mentioned includes Shakespeare and poetry, Shakespeare and the Novel and Shakespeare and Film. Specific texts studied will vary from year to year.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • A better understanding of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and issues surrounding its interpretation.
  • A better understanding of the different texts of Hamlet and how they have been understood by critics and editors.
  • A knowledge of the different ways Hamlet has been interpreted in literary criticism over time.
  • Developing an appropriate style of critical writing for the discussion and analysis of Shakespeare's Hamlet Developing an appropriate style of critical writing for the discussion and analysis of Shakespeare and intertexuality.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. These can include seminars, lectures, class discussion, formative tasks, small group work, and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

1 x 4000 word essay (100%) [ILOs 1-4]; 1000 word presentation

Reading and References

  • Shakespeare, Hamlet
  • Harold Bloom, Hamlet: Poem Unlimited (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2003)
  • Graham Bradshaw, Shakespeare’s Scepticism (Brighton: Harvester Press, 1987)
  • Wells, Stanley, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986)
  • Wells, Stanley, ed., Shakespeare: A Bibliographical Guide (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990)
  • Shakespeare and the Question of Theory, ed. by Patricia Parker and Geoffrey Hartman (London: Methuen, 1985)