Module Details

LT958-7-SP-CO: Shakespearean Performance History

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2017/18
Department: Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Essex credit: 20
ECTS credit: 10
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Professor John Gillies
Teaching Staff: Professor John Gillies
Contact details: Jane Thorp ( or ext 2624)

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The printing, editing, re-editing and adaptation of Shakespeare's play-texts over the last four hundred years has not only ensured their survival but provided the conditions for an almost continuous performance life over this period. As, to an extent, with the texts themselves however, this continuous performance life has been marked by multiple deaths, disruptions, mutations and reincarnations. This course seeks to:
a) recognise that there is no such thing as an ideal or transhistorical or culturally unmediated performance (past performance styles will seem opaque if not absurd to a modern taste);
b) historically reconstruct key performance styles: mainly early modern, Restoration, 18c and 19c "sentimental", naturalist, modern and postmodern;
c) understand each performance style as a unique perspective onto Shakespeare's text;
d) take each performance style as a window onto its own cultural and historical moment.

Learning and Teaching Methods

one two-hour seminar per week for 10 weeks.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


One 5,000 word essay

Further information