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The professors teach passionately and classes effortlessly involve perspectives that span different cultures and world views. The carefully planned day trips made me feel like I had seen all of England in less than a month. The most important lessons I took away from Exeter were those I learnt from the people I met. We quickly realized how vastly different but yet how similar we were. I fell in love with Shakespeare at Exeter. I made friends for life at Exeter. I would recommend the International Summer School to any student who desires a life changing summer.

Anukripa, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India

Rethinking Shakespeare: Beyond the Bard

Rethinking Shakespeare: Beyond the Bard

This module aims to explore the processes by which Shakespeare’s plays came into existence, how they achieved their unique status in English literature and culture, and how the image of the genius ‘Bard’ problematizes understandings of Shakespeare’s plays as part of Shakespeare’s own world and our own. Following global commemorative celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016, the module will include examining issues that surround memorializing the dead, both in Shakespeare’s own time and our own.

The module focuses its attention upon A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and The Tempest. Through a combination of play-specific classes, performance workshops, and classes dedicated to the details of historical context students will examine:

• the contexts of the plays’ initial production and reception
• the implications of Shakespearean and modern performance practices in understanding Shakespeare’s plays
• myths that have become associated with Shakespeare , the origin of such myths and their influence over contemporary engagements with Shakespeare’s plays

Guided by experts from Exeter University’s English and Drama Departments, students will encounter the nuances and richness available within the field of Shakespeare Studies, which a static image of the isolated Bard simply does not allow.

The course includes  a play at the world famous Globe Theatre  in London which will help you put performance theory into practice and a virtual visit to the home of Shakespeare himself; Stratford Upon Avon!

Please note the play will be subject to Globe Theatre Availability


Module at a Glance

Module Title Rethinking Shakespeare: Beyond the Bard
Module Code ISS3009
Module Convenor Dr Jo Esra
Credit Value 7.5 ECTS

Scheduled Teaching

48 Hours of lectures, seminars and activities with at least 10 hours of live activity
Guided Independent Study Pre-Reading Before Arrival
Preparatory readings for lectures and seminars
Researching, preparing and delivering a group presentation
Researching and completing two written assignments
Formative Assessment Written Assignment on the importance of viewing Shakespeare ‘in context’ – 850 words – individual written feedback
Summative Assessment Critical Commentary on an extract from one of the module texts – 1500 words – 60% of credit – written feedback

Group Presentation – 20 minutes – 40% of credit – verbal and written feedback
Sample Reading The Tempest – William Shakespeare
Sample Sessions Supernatural Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Myth: 18th Century and Beyond