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English Theatre

Code: 100265 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500245 English Studies OT 3 0
2500245 English Studies OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Jordi Coral Escola

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


An essential requirement is a C2 level of English in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment.

A level of English at C2 allows students to understand with ease virtually everything heard or read; to summarise information from distinct spoken and written sources; to reconstruct arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation; and to express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

Students who register for this subject should have passed the obligatory literature subjects of our degree.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This course explores the evolution of British drama from the Elizabethan age to the postwar period.  In order to do so, it focusses on the contextualized analysis of a number of representative plays of different periods and on some of their most outstanding stage productions. 

Students who complete the course successfully will be able to 

  • analyse and discuss plays from a performative point of view 
  • write critical analyses of dramatic texts by using the adequate terminology and applying a diversity of traditional and recent theories of drama
  • read dramatic texts in historical and literary context, appreciating intertextual allusion and identifying different theatrical traditions
  • use the main resources which a research library provides for the study of drama


    English Studies
  • Critically assessing the scientific, literary and cultural production in the English language.
  • Demonstrate a comprehension of the relationship between factors, processes and phenomena of linguistics, literature, history and culture, and explaining it.
  • Develop critical thinking and reasoning and knowing how to communicate effectively both in your mother tongue and in other languages.
  • Distinguish and contrast the various theoretical and methodological models applied to the study of the English language, its literature and its culture.
  • Identify the main literary, cultural and historical currents in the English language.
  • Produce clear and well structured and detailed texts in English about complex topics, displaying a correct use of the organisation, connection and cohesion of the text.
  • Rewrite and organize information and arguments coming from several sources in English and presenting them in a coherent and summarised way.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills in order to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analysing and interpreting texts in an advanced level about the literary genres and literary criticism in English.
  2. Applying appropriate secondary academic sources to text comments and argumentative essays about literary genres and literary criticism in English.
  3. Carrying out oral presentations about topics related to the genres of English literature and its academic criticism using secondary academic sources.
  4. Communicating in the studied language in oral and written form, properly using vocabulary and grammar.
  5. Comparing in an advanced level different topics and texts related to literary genres and literary criticism in English.
  6. Comparing in an advanced level the methodologies of the literary criticism in English.
  7. Demonstrate a master of the specific methods of individual academic work that prepare the student for a postgraduate specialised education in the same or a different field of study.
  8. Describing in detail and in an academic way the diachronic and synchronic evolution of the topics and texts of literary genres and literary criticism in English.
  9. Distinguishing the main ideas from the secondary ones and summarising the contents of primary and secondary texts related to the literary genres and literary criticism in English.
  10. Drawing up academic essays of medium length in relation to the genres of the English literature and its academic criticism using secondary academic sources.
  11. Effectively communicating and applying the argumentative and textual processes to formal and scientific texts.
  12. Explaining in an advanced level, the nature and main traits of the literary genres and literary criticism in English.
  13. Localising secondary academic sources in the library or on the Internet related to the literary genres and literary criticism in English.
  14. Mastering the advanced knowledge and scientific methodologies related to linguistics, literature, history and culture that prepare the student for a postgraduate specialised education in the same or a different field of study.
  15. Students must be capable of comprehending advanced academic or professional texts in their own language or the another acquired in the degree.
  16. Students must be capable of precisely arguing ideas and opinions in their own language or another acquired in the degree.
  17. Summarising the content of primary and secondary academic sources about literary genres and literary criticism in English.


Early Modern Drama 
Unit 1: Elizabethan and Jacobean Tragedy: William Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" 
Unit 2: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy: Aphra's Behn's "The Rover" 
Modern Drama
Unit 3: Drama and the "Irish Literary Revival": John Millington Synge's "Riders to the Sea"
Unit 4: Wartime and Postwar Drama: J.B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls" 
Unit 5: Contemporary Drama: Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"
Students are advised to read the texts in the following editions, which will be used in class:  
Unit 1: Anthony and Cleopatra, ed. by Michael Neill, The Oxford Shakespeare, Oxford University Press, 2008.
Unit 2: The Rover, ed. by Robyn Bolam, New Mermaids, Methuen Drama, 2012. 
Unit 3: J.M. Synge: The Playboy of the Western World and Other Plays, ed. by Ann Saddlemyer, Oxford University Press, 2008.
Unit 4: An Inspector Calls and Other Plays, Penguin Modern Classics, Penguin Books, 2000. 
Unit 5: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Faber and Faber, 2000. 




Directed activities:


Classroom debates/discussions

Supervised activities:

Read-aloud texts, oral presentations.

Autonomous activities:

Study of main and secondary bibliography


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Classroom debates/discussions 20 0.8 16, 14, 7, 8, 9, 12, 11, 4
Lectures 30 1.2 1, 2, 16, 15, 9, 17
Type: Supervised      
Read-aloud texts/Oral presentations 30 1.2 15, 3, 12, 11, 4
Type: Autonomous      
Critical study of main bibliography 25 1 1, 16, 6, 5, 15, 14, 7, 9, 13
Study of secondary sources 25 1 16, 15, 9, 13, 17


The practical dimension of the course will require students to take an active part in class. Group discussion will be normal practice and students will be requested to offer a presentation on specific aspects of the productions of the plays analysed in class. Percentages will be as follows:

  • Exam (40%): units 1 and 2.
  • 2,000-Word Essay  (40%): units 3, 4 and 5.
  • Class presentation and participation in debates (20%).


  • On carrying out each assessment activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.
  • In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.
  • In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.


 The minimum pass mark is 5 for all exams and activities. 

  • Continuous assessment applies to this subject. This means that all activities are compulsory and that submission of the exam or the essay (40%) automatically excludes the possibility of obtaining “No avaluable” as a final grade. The minimum mark for any exercise or activitty to be considered for the average final mark is 3,5. The minimum average pass mark for the whole subject is 5.
  • The student’s command of English will be taken into account when marking all exercises and for the final mark. It will count as at least 25% of this mark for all the exercises and will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
    • Grammar (morphology and syntax)
    • Vocabulary (accuracy and variety)
    • Cohesion (among sentences and paragraphs)
    • Organization (sound argumentation of ideas)
    • Style (expression and register)
    • Spelling

Recuperació (re-evaluation)

a) Students who fail both the exam and the essay are not eligible for re-assessment; those who have failed one of these two activities are eligible provided that its mark is higher than 3,5. Students who have failed one of the two exercises must opt for re-assessment even if the provisional average mark of the course were 5 or higher. 

b)  Students whose re-assessment is successful will get, in all cases, a final grade of 5. Students who have passed both exams cannot opt for re-assessment in order to upgrade their average mark. 

c)  Class presentations will not be re-assessed. Students must offer their presentation on the date agreed with the rest of the class at the beginning of the semester. 





Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Essay 40% 8 0.32 1, 2, 16, 6, 5, 15, 14, 7, 8, 9, 12, 11, 4, 13, 10, 17
Exam 40% 8 0.32 1, 16, 6, 5, 15, 14, 7, 8, 9, 12, 11, 4, 17
Presentation and participation in debates 20% 4 0.16 1, 16, 5, 14, 7, 3, 11, 4


1. Early Modern Theatre

  • Bevis, Matthew, Comedy: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford UP, 2012. 
  • Dutton, Richard and Jean E. Howard (eds.), A Companion to Shakespeare’s Works: The Tragedies, Blackwell, 2006.
  • Fisk, Deborah Payne (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to English Restoration Theatre, Cambridge UP, 2006. 
  • Goddard, Harold C., The Meaning of Shakespeare, 2 vols., The University of Chicago Press, 1951.
  • Huges, Derek and Janet Todd (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Aphra Behn, Cambridge UP, 2004.
  • Jackson, Russell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film, CUP, 2007.
  • Kermode, Frank, Shakespeare’s Language, Penguin Books, 2000.
  • Mceachern, Claire (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy, 2013. 
  • Nuttal, A.D., Shakespeare the Thinker, Yale UP, 2007.
  • Poole, Adrian, Tragedy: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford UP, 2005.
  • Rackin, Phyllis, Shakespeare and Women, Oxford UP, 2005. 
  • Redgrave, Vanessa, Antony and Cleopatra, Actors on Shakespeare, Faber and Faber, 2002.
  • Reynolds, Paige Martin, Performing Shakespeare's Women: Playing Dead, Arden Shakespeare, 2020. 
  • Roberts, David, Restoration Plays and Players: An Introduction, Cambridge UP, 2014. 
  • Wells, Stanley (ed.), Shakespeare and Co., Penguin Books, 2008.


2. Modern Theatre 

  • Bentley, Eric (ed.), The Theory of the Modern Stage, Penguin, 1992. 
  • Gilman, Richard, The Making of Modern Drama, Yale UP, 1999. 
  • Kelly, Katherine (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Tom Stoppard, Cambridge UP, 2010. 
  • Matthews, P. J. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to J. M. Synge, Cambridge UP, 2009. 
  • Shepherd, Simon, The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre, Cambridge UP, 2009.