1 x 3-hour seminar weekly
Assumed knowledge
Students who are taking this topic as part of their Italian Major are expected to have a second level knowledge of Italian culture.
Topic description
The topic will examine how and why theatre developed in Western civilisation through the ages, with a special focus on Italy. It will follow a "thread" from Greek comedy and tragedy to 20th Century Italian theatre examining, among other things, the role of the actor, author and director. The focus of this topic are 20th Century Italian playwrights Luigi Pirandello and Dario Fo (both Nobel prize-winning writers), and Franca Rame. Selected texts are available in Italian with English translations, and will be read, examined closely, and discussed as required. Lectures will be conducted in English.
Educational aims
This topic aims to provide opportunities for the students to:

  • acquire and develop background knowledge on the historical developments and artistic movements that have characterised Italian theatre

  • understand the basic techniques employed by playwrights, and develop critical skills in analysing plays as instruments for the authors' artistic expression

  • develop their ability to place Italian plays in the appropriate artistic/social/historical context

  • where applicable, develop further students comprehension of spoken Italian at an advanced level
Expected learning outcomes
It is expected that on completion of this topic students will be able to:

  • analyse, discuss, compare, interpret and critique different plays, theatrical genres and playwrights taking into account basic theatrical techniques and the artistic/social/historical context in which they were created;

  • read, discuss and critique scholarly articles