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2011/12 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3221 King Lear

20 creditsClass Size: 40


Module manager: Professor Martin Butler

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2011/12

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

W. Shakespeare, King Lear (quarto and folio versions); Anon, King Leir [sic]; Nahum Tate, The History of King Lear; Edward Bond, Lear; Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres; Peter Brook (dir.), King Lear; Grigori Kozintsev, Korol Lir; Akira Kurosawa, Ran.


To study Shakespeare’s King Lear intensively, and explore its afterlife in adaptations, films, and spin-offs.

Learning outcomes
Students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of King Lear, its textual problems, sources, and political, intellectual, and cultural contexts.

They will examine the reshaping and appropriation of the play as it was transmitted in stage, film, and novel versions from the 18th-century to the present day, and reflect on the process of adaptation and revision.

Skills outcomes
- Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
- Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
- Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
- Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
- Critical reasoning.
- Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
- IT skills.
- Time management and organisational skills.
- Independent learning.


Eight plays will be set for study, and the module will investigate their engagement with the forms of power of Jacobean society, and people's changing assumptions about selfhood, the family and the state.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Teaching will be through weekly seminars (10 x 1 hour) plus up to 5 additional hours (content to be determined by the module tutor).
- The 5 additional hours may include lectures, plenary sessions, film showings, or the return of unassessed/assessed essays.

Private Study: seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Contribution to seminars.
- 1st assessed essay.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,700 words33.30
Essay2,750 words66.70
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/03/2012


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