Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
L-LIN/10 - ENGLISH LITERATURE
Language of instruction
The module aims at providing specific knowledge about the history of English publishing, compared to the Italian one, with regard to the production of complex texts, such as Renaissance play texts, in relation to the transmission of their printed sources, as well as their own later circulation and re-elaboration in diverse genres and according to different printing practices. The module will offer advanced tools for textual analysis and for the interpretation of literary and dramatic genres within their historical and cultural contexts and in relation to their editorial traditions. It will also introduce students to critical approaches aimed at strengthening their argumentative skills. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to re-elaborate critically the acquired knowledge and to discuss topics employing appropriate linguistic and stylistic registers.
“Passion and Politics: the Myth of Cleopatra in William Shakespeare.”
This module examines the reception and re-elaboration of the Cleopatra myth in sixteenth-century England with particular attention to William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. It will analyse its ancient and contemporary sources and suggestions, discussing the relationship between politics and passion in Rome and Alexandria. It will also focus on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century publishing practices with reference to the texts that contributed to the composition of this drama and on current practices of publishing and publishing in print and digital of Renaissance texts.
The module will be held in English. Attending students will take one self-assessment test at the end of the module. A written calendar of the topics that will be dealt with will be circulated in class at the beginning of the course.
Further teaching material will be available for download from the MOODLE repository.
Attending and non-attending students, as well as Erasmus students are required to do all the readings indicated below:
• William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, ed. by John Wilders, London, Bloomsbury, The Arden Shakespeare Third Series, 1995.
• Stephen Orgel, Authentic Shakespeare, London and New York, Routledge, 2002, capitoli 1-4 (pp. 1-47).
• Michael Hunter, Editing Early Modern Texts. An Introduction to Principles and Practices, New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.
• Brookes, Douglas A., “Dramatic Authorship and Publication in Early Modern England”, Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England 15, pp. 77-97.
Further Suggested readings (not compulsory):
• Geoffrey Bullough, Antony and Cleopatra, in Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, vol. 5, 1961, London and New York, Routledge – Columbia University Press, pp. 215-449.
Knowledge acquisition will be evaluated through an oral exam, which will consist in a discussion of the topics dealt with during the module. The oral exam will be held in English.
Alternatively, students may submit an essay in English of approximately 5,000 words at least a week before the exam. The essay will then be presented and discussed orally. For essay-writing guidelines please refer to the following text: Richard Marggraf Turley, Writing Essays, London and New York, Routledge, 2016 (2nd edition). Before submitting their essays, students are required to discuss their project with the teacher.
The acquired abilities will be evaluated in terms of:
1) use of critical approaches appropriate to textual and contextual analysis, with special regard to the history of the book;
2) textual comprehension of the primary texts;
3) argumentative skills in academic discussion.
The exam is the same for attending and non-attending students.