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Romantic Drama

Class at Faculty of Arts |

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For the current syllabus, see Moodle:

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This course will trace the development of Romantic drama from the famous women playwrights of the turn of the century, through the dramatic works of the first and second generation of the English Romantics. Starting with Inchbald’s adaptation of Kotzebue, we move to Baillie’s project of the ‘Plays on the Passions’ and the Romantic treatment of tragedy, with Coleridge’s Remorse and Shelley’s The Cenci. Southey’s Wat Tyler and Wordsworth’s The Borderers will take us through the Romantic dramatization and appropriation of revolution. Moving on to the famous dramatic poems, Byron’s Manfred and Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, we will enter the realm of Romantic transcendence and the Imagination. Altogether, the course will have mapped the multi-faceted engagement of these works with the dramatic form and the prevalent literary and dramatic genres of the age, and their varied and exciting performance of history, gender, class, revolution and transgression.

Primary texts:

Elizabeth Inchbald, Lovers‘ Vows (1798)

Joanna Baillie, De Montfort (1798)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Remorse (1797/1813)

Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cenci (1816)

Robert Southey, Wat Tyler (1817)

William Wordsworth, The Borderers (1796-7/1842)

John Keats, Otho the Great (1819)

Lord Byron, Manfred (1817)

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound (1820)

Lord Byron, Cain (1821)