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Theatres of Revenge - ENG00038M

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Richard Rowland
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

To examine the shifting relationship between the concept of revenge and the imperatives social, political, theological of the cultures in which that concept played an important but contested part.

To explore theatrical representations of revenge from earlier cultures ancient Greek and Roman drama, the late medieval mystery cycles and to consider the extent to which, and ways in which early modern playwrights engaged with and respond to these antecedents.To investigate the ways in which treatments of revenge differed according to the playhouses in which and companies by which they were performed, and to think about the appearance of revenge in genres such as tragicomedy and comedy.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

·Students will explore a broad range of texts from different cultures, and learn to think about the changing ways in which the notion of revenge relates to concepts of justice, personal and civic responsibility, and the demands of religion.

Academic and graduate skills

The course requires extensive reading in works of social and political history, as well as in theatrical texts and performance history. Students will emerge with a knowledge of debates and practices of crucial importance to the ancient and early modern worlds, but also with an awareness of how these debates continue to challenge social and political theorists as well as theatre practitioners today.


Task Length % of module mark
4,500 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4,500 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your module tutor, the MA Convenor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours

Indicative reading

Aeschylus, Oresteia

Euripides, Medea

York Crucifixion Play

Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy

William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Twelfth Night

Christopher Marlowe, Edward II

Thomas Heywood, A Woman Killed With Kindness

Thomas Middleton, The Revenger's Tragedy

John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.