English literature 3 (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Yvonne Bezrucka
Yvonne Bezrucka
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 28, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

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.


Lawfulness, authority, and authoritativeness

The course "Lawfulness, authority, and authoritativeness" will offer an overview of the history of the Elizabethan theatre and of Shakespeare’s works in the light of the Bard's contestation of authority if this is not testified by an according lawfulness and authoritativeness. We will thus examine, through an in-depth analysis, four instances of Shakespeare’s major deconstructions of power and authority. 'Richard II', 'Measure for Measure, 'The Tempest' and 'King Lear'– will provide us the opportunity to foreground highly topical issues: the safeguarding of justice via jurisprudence, and the king or queen's authoritativeness for reigning, themes that reappear throughout Shakespeare's macro-text. To put the exercise of power under the lenses of a rightful jurisprudence is Shakespeare’s drive for a response to the dangers of self-appointed and imposed authoritarian attitudes.

Primary bibliography:

William Shakespeare, King Richard II, Arden, ed. Peter Ure, 1961.
William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Arden, ed. Frank Kermode, 1992.
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Arden, ed. J.W. Lever, 1989.
William Shakespeare, King Lear, Arden, ed. Kenneth Miur, 1992.

Secondary Bibliography:

• Peter Ure, "Introduction" to Richard II, Arden, pp. IX-LXXXIV,
• J.W. Lever, "Introduction", to Measure for Measure, Arden, pp. XI-LXXXIX.
• F. Kermode, "Introduction", to The Tempest, Arden, pp. XI-LXXXIII.
• K. Muir, "Introduction", to King Lear, Arden, XXIV-LVIII.
• Y. Bezrucka, Forme del potere in 'Measure for Measure'. Corpo pubblico/corpo privato: autorità/libertà e desiderio”, Pólemos, 2/2010, a c. di Pier Giuseppe Monateri - Alessandro Somma, D. Carpi, Editore, G. Giappichelli, pp. 99- 116,
download from www.academia.edu search Y. Bezrucka.
• Ernst Hartwig Kantorowicz 1966 (1957) The King's Two Bodies, A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology, Princeton: Princeton UP, pp. 87-143, 193-232.

Recommended History of Literature: Andrew Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
W. Shakespeare King Lear Arden 1992
William Shakespeare King Richard II Arden 1991 0 415 00882 4
William Shakespeare Measure for Measure Arden 1989 0415026970
Ernst Hartwig Kantorowicz The King's Two Bodies, A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology, (Edizione 2) Princeton: Princeton UP. 1966
William Shakespeare The Tempest Cambridge University Press 2009

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral viva.