- Code ENGL3034
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject English
- Areas of interest Drama, English, Gender Studies, History, Literature
The reign of Elizabeth I fostered a new social technology – the public theatre – and with it an explosion of playwriting that has influenced how we think about power and public identity to this day. But how did having a woman in charge influence this evolving artform? The Queen staged her authority in elaborate rituals, called herself a ‘prince’, and declined to marry. Unsurprisingly, tragedies and histories of the era dramatise crises of royal succession and related political instability through complex explorations of tyranny and treachery that disturb binary definitions of gender. Comedies often resolve these crises through marriage but are likewise populated by articulate female characters and driven by gender disguise. All of this cultural work took place in a new and radically public space and was governed by an aesthetics of self-reflexivity. What can we learn from these plays and this epoch about the relationship between gender, sex, performance, and political power? In this course you will learn to read early modern plays informed by an understanding of their theatrical and socio-political origins and to reflect on their legacies in modern entertainment and public life. Playwrights to be studied include Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, and Elizabeth Cary.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Read closely and understand a range of early modern plays.
- Identify themes and formal characteristics of early modern drama.
- Analyse a play-text in the light of its socio-political context.
- Direct a scene from an early-modern play-text with reference to original staging conditions.
- Reflect on practice-based research findings in the light of published scholarship on a gender-related topic in early modern drama.
Indicative AssessmentScene analysis, 1000 words (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]
Presentation, 20 minutes (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
Research journal, 3000 words (50%) [Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 5]
Class participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 36 hours of workshops
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- 6 units
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