English literature 3 (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Yvonne Bezrucka, Sidia Fiorato
Yvonne Bezrucka
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 30, 2019 al Jan 11, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course, held in English, aims at introducing Students to the English Literature from the 16th century to the Restoration (1660), paying emphasis on some canonical literary texts. Besides, it will offer skills and abilities for the critical analysis of literary texts and their genres. The course objective is to provide a good knowledge of the literature of the period (historical context, texts, genres, literary movements and authors) and to develop in Students a capacity of analysis and argumentative abilities in relation to the various typologies of literary texts set in their literary, historical, and cultural context.

At the end of the course, Student will be able to
- analyse the examined literary texts setting them in their historical and cultural context;
- discuss them in an argumentative way, with due consideration to contemporary literary conventions, and by applying a critical, knowledgeable, and aware approach to the specificity of the literary texts;
- present the acquired competences in English, and in a coherent and clear way.


"Magic Creatures Defying Authority "

The course "Magic Creatures Defying the Authority of Culture and Kings" will offer an overview of the history of the Elizabethan theatre and of Shakespeare’s works in the light of the Bard's gentle contestation of the Greek and Latin cultural models, which anticipates the Battle of the Books and tries to re-establish the minority vernacular and local cultural tradition which Spenser's 'Faerie Queene' had already promoted, in recovering the magic creatures present in Wales, Cornwall, Ireland, and Scotland. An in-depth reading of two instances of Shakespeare’s major deconstructions of canonical Authority – 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'The Tempest' – will provide us the opportunity to foreground highly topical issues: the safeguarding of both human, and magic different species' rights, besides the Bard's 'avant la lettre' defence of the natural environment. The championing of a multicultural attitude, the recognition of minorities and their rights, and an attitude of togetherness-in-difference, is Shakespeare’s response to the dangers of authoritarian attitudes (as 'Othello' testifies).

Primary bibliography:

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2009 or Arden edition.
William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2009 or Arden edition.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, ed. A. C. Hamilton, London: Routledge, canto 1 and 5.

Secondary Bibliography:
- Andrew Murphy "The Book on the Screen: Shakespeare Films and Textual Culture" in Mark Thornton Burnett, Ramona Wray eds. (2000) Shakespeare, Film, and the Fin de Siècle (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 10-25.
- Marc Thornton Burnett "Impressions of Fantasy: Adrian Noble's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream", in Mark Thornton Burnett, Ramona Wray eds. (2000) 'Shakespeare, Film, and the Fin de Siècle' (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 89-101.
- Douglas Bruster "The Postmodern Theatre of Paul Mazursky's 'Tempest'" in Mark Thornton Burnett, Ramona Wray eds. (2000) 'Shakespeare, Film, and the Fin de Siècle' (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 26-39.
-Yvonne Bezrucka (2017) 'The Invention of Northern Aesthetics in 18th-c. English Literature (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars).

Prof. Sidia Fiorato (3-credit course)
La dott.ssa Fiorato terrà le ultime 18 ore, che saranno dedicate alla messa in scena delle opere in programma:
Prof. Fiorato will analyse the mise en scene of the Shakespearean works in the programme:

Bibliografia critica:
Essays to be read are:
- James C. Bulman, Introduction: Cross-Currents in Performance Criticism", in James C. Bulman ed., The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Performance , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 1-9
- Yvonne Bezrucka, “Performing Arts/Performance Art”, in 'Consumer Culture Encyclopedia', Sage Publication, New York and London, 2011, 3 volumes, vol. 3, pp. 1079-1081.
- Edward Isser, "Permissive, Implied, and missing Stage Directions: "Exeunt Omnes" and The Tempest", in Lena Cowen Orlin, Miranda Johnson-Haddad, eds., Staging Shakespeare: Essays in Honour of Alan C. Dessen, Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2007, 114-130
- Michale O'Neill, "Sleepers and Watchers: Audiences of a Midsummer Night's Dream", in Shakespeare Bulletin, 15.3 (1997), 15-19

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream Cambridge University Press 2009
Ewan Fernie, Ramona Wray Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Siécle Macmillan 2000 - Marc Thorton Burnett (2000) "Impressions of Fantasy: Adrian Noble's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream", pp. 89-101, in Ewan Fernie, Ramona Wray, Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Siécle. - Andrew Murphy (2000) "The Book on the Screen: Shakespeare's Films and Textual Culture", in pp. 10-25, in Ewan Fernie, Ramona Wray, Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Siécle.
Edmund Spenser ed. A. C. Hamilton The Faerie Queene Routledge 2007 9781317865636
Y. Bezrucka The Invention of Northern Aesthetics in 18th-Century English Literature (Edizione 1) Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2017 ISBN 978-1-5275-0302-1
William Shakespeare The Tempest Cambridge University Press 2009

Assessment methods and criteria