Component

MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA English and Comparative Literature options

Year 2, Component 02

LT267-5-SP or TH205-5-SU
LT267-5-SP
Desire in the Age of Enlightenment: Eighteenth Century Literature
(15 CREDITS)

The Enlightenment has often been considered the age of reason, or a period in which thought overcomes earlier forms of superstition or mysticism and develops empirical, scientific modes of seeking out truth. Juxtaposed against the Dark Ages, the Enlightenment would shine a new, penetrating light over all domains of concern. While certainly a time of radical change and rigorous re-examination, this simplified picture obscures a more complicated reality. For in the effort to relegate all forms of unreason to the past, the period witnesses an intense compression of the appetites that generate something of a counter-enlightenment--something like reason's own shadow. This module focuses on how those aspects of human experience resistant to rationalization and economization and calculation emerge in and through a range of artworks in the period after the Restoration (1660) and up to and including first-generation Romanticism (1789-1800). It also puts an emphasis on works by a segment of the population not well represented in the texts typically associated with the Enlightenment: women. Thematically, we concentrate on how desire--visceral, unruly, conflicted--takes aesthetic form. We will analyse artworks in their historical context, which means against the backdrop of scientific, political, and philosophical works central to the Enlightenment.

TH205-5-SU
Performing Shakespeare
(15 CREDITS)

This hugely popular module is a chance to study four key Shakespeare texts in depth. This option will allow you to master some of Shakespeare’s most rich and complex plays through practical work and seminars. Understand these seminal works and build your confidence by coming to grips with the language, dramatic conventions and characteristics of plays which are at the heart of our theatre culture. By the end of the course you will feel at home with texts which beforehand may have seemed forbidding or difficult.

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