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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


Knowledge of the cultural historical phenomena which are related to the genesis of the chosen scripts; 
• Capacity to use literature as a tool for understanding socio-cultural phenomena which influenced British and Irish History; 
• Knowledge of the history of Shakespeare’s canonization as global cultural icon;
• Knowledge of the twentieth century main theories about theatre and the analysis of drama; 
• Capacity to analyse and discuss scripts critically and with appreciation;
• Capacity to produce narrative, descriptive, argumentative texts, which highlight the main features of the analysed literary works and their cinematic adaptation;
• Capacity to examine literary criticism and contextualise their interpretation of the text; 
Knowledge of some of the strategies of adaptation;
• Capacity to identify the main ideas in a critical essay and to use them to buttress personal interpretations of the text;
• Capacity to organise materials and data to mediate the knowledge of a different episteme through argumentative texts;
• Capacity to gather and organize materials and data to write lesson-plans;


Knowledge of the History of the Elizabethan Age;
Adequate reading comprehension skills;


• Introduction to the lessons topics: key-words
• Main features of the Elizabethan theatre
• Most influential works: a survey of Elizabethan dramatists
• Shakespearean canon
• Transmission of Shakespeare’s scripts
• Richard III and its genesis
• Richard III and one of his sources: Richard III by More
• Reading and textual Analysis of Shakespeare Our contemporary by Jan Kott (chapt. “The Kings”);
• Looking for Richard;
• Textual Analysis
• Contrastive analysis: Shakespeare’s Richard III and its contemporary adaptation
• The Field Day Theatre Company and the construction of Irish Identities
• Brian Friel: a cultural hybrid in a divided land
• Looking back to the past to look ahead to the future: when Ireland was torn apart between revenge and forgiveness
• Textual Analysis of Making History
• Reading Comprehension: T. Crowley’s “Memory and Forgetting in a Time of Violence”
• How to write a good writing plan and construct a good power point presentation: students work in groups or in pairs.

Teaching Methods

Lessons, seminar activities (twenty hours will be devoted to practice, mastery, clarification, and application of previously discussed material)

Verification of learning

Oral and written (students will be required to write an essay) assessment will be used to test students’ ability a) to put forward their own interpretation of a given text; b) to provide evidences for it, c) to quote or to confute pieces of criticism to buttress their own opinions; d) to create a power point presentation.
Class attendance and participation counts for 30% of the final grade, Knowledge of the main topic discussed for 30%, the capacity of close reading for 30%, the use of the required sectorial language for 10%.
Pass mark is 18 out of thirty. Top mark is 30/30. Grading scale: 30-27=e xcellent; 26-24= good; 23-18 (sufficient) knowledge of main topics, capacity to read, appreciate texts and write reviews on them; competence of English language and sector-based language.


Thomas More, The History of Richard III ( (1 copia presso la Biblioteca di Scienze del Linguaggio, Collocazione INGLESE LETT 079);
William Shakespeare, Richard III, ( (Project Gutenberg, ebook scaricabile alla pagina web sopra riportata);
Looking for Richard (dvd);
Jan Kott, Shakespeare nostro contemporaneo, Feltrinelli, Milano 2002, (cap. I Re) (1 copia presso la Biblioteca Universitaria. Collocazione 7. C 0204/ 1694)
Brian Friel, Making History, Faber and Faber, 2006 (Biblioteca Scienze del Linguaggio 1DIDATTICA LETTERATURA 026/27)

Testi secondari:
Pfister, Manfred, The Theory and Analysis of Drama, CUP, Cambridge 1993 (in possesso della Biblioteca Giordano Bruno);
Franco Marucci, Storia della Letteratura Inglese. Shakespeare, Le lettere, Firenze 2015, (Biblioteca Scienze del Linguaggio, Inglese Lett Storia 035 DSU17170), pp. 57-96;
Rocco Coronato, Leggere Shakespeare, Carocci, 2017;
Giorgio Melchiori, Shakespeare. Genesi e Struttura delle Opere, Laterza, Bari, 2005. (Introduzione “Shakespeare e il mestiere del teatro”, I.2 La Guerra delle due Rose);
L. Joseph Herbert, “The Reward of a King: Machiavelli, Aquinas, and Shakespeare's Richard III”, Perspectives on Political Science, 44:4, 2015, 238-246 (Link:;
M. G. Aune, “ Star Power: Al Pacino, Looking for Richard and the Cultural Capital of Shakespeare on Film”, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 23:4, 2006, 353-367, DOI: 10.1080/10509200690897617 To link to this article:;
Linda Bradley Salamon (2000) “Looking for Richard” in History: Postmodern Villainy in Richard III and Scarface, Journal of Popular Film and Television, 28:2, 54-63, DOI: 10.1080/01956050009602823, To link to this article:
Martine Pelletier, “Field day and ‘the Irish‐English collision’, pp. 327-341 | Published online: 16 Jun 2008;
M. G. Dongu, Making History: Un palco per narrator di storie, ETS, Pisa, 2016. (Scienze del Linguaggio, collocazione: LETTER CRITICA 540)
Tony Crowley, “Memory and Forgetting in a Time of Violence: Brian Friel’s MetaHistory Plays”, «Estudios Irlandeses», Number 3, 2008, pp. 72-83. (scaricabile on line:

More Information

The reading list might be modified and updated during the semester.
The website will give information on office hours and lessons timetable as soon as possible.
An archive of useful materials (slides, texts and reading guides, etc.) will be established (moodle course). It will be available to non attendant and attendant students.

Questionnaire and social

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