Course Code: TH2020:
Tutor: David Thomas
Class Time: Wednesday, 11.30-13.30
- 1 x essay of 3000 words 20%
- 1 x examination question 30%
This seminar course will explore the radically opposed visions of two playwrights whose work has shaped some of the major developments of twentieth-century playwriting.
The module will explore:
- how the radically opposed visions of Ibsen and Strindberg were expressed in dramatic form
- how these contrasting visions demand very different styles of theatre
- how Ibsen uses naturalist and then symbolist techniques to analyse social and personal issues in contemporaneous Norwegian society
- how Ibsen shows human beings creating meaning or absurdity in the way they respond to each other
- how Strindberg uses techniques that foreshadow expressionism to articulate his vision of life’s ultimate absurdity
- how Strindberg uses the act of playwriting as a means of transcending that absurdity.
By the end of the module students should be able to:
- engage in analytic investigation of appropriate primary and secondary source material
- communicate what they have learnt orally and in writing
- demonstrate an awareness of the verbal and visual methods of communication used by both playwrights
- demonstrate insight into the contrasting ways both playwrights treat destructive patterns of interaction in their work
- demonstrate an awareness of the contrasting ways in which both playwrights present male and female perspectives on life and relationships
- demonstrate an understanding of the structural, visual and verbal techniques used by both playwrights to explore subjective experience.
Students will achieve these learning outcomes through:
- concentrated reading of play texts and secondary sources (both critical and theatre historical)
- viewing and discussing videos of specific productions of plays by Ibsen and Strindberg
- seminar discussion, essay work, and a written examination question.