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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL2204 Shakespeare and Global Cinema

20 creditsClass Size: 20

School of English

Module manager: Professor Martin Butler

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

There are no language pre-requisites: films are not in English but all are subtitled for English viewers.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In the modern world Shakespeare has been performed and adapted in scores of different countries and languages. He has always been a major presence in Western film but has increasingly been encountered in the new non-English-speaking cinemas. This module looks at nine Shakespeare films, adapted from Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear, in five different languages: Japanese, Russian, Hindi, Mandarin and Tibetan. We shall ask what happens to Shakespeare when he moves into cultures entirely different from the Anglophone world, what kind of Shakespeare is being circulated, and whether it reinforces or challenges the ‘soft power’ or cultural pre-eminence that has always been associated with him. This module is not an introduction to film studies, but it will involve some discussion of film terms and concepts.


To study the adaptation of Shakespeare as he circulates in film versions in non-Anglophone cultures; to evaluate his meaning in those cultures; and to understand the nature of his global presence and what it tells us about English cultural identity in the modern globalized world.

Learning outcomes
Student write two essays requiring in-depth knowledge of three Shakespeare films, analysing their relationship to the plays from which they are derived. The essays will demonstrate familiarity with basic terms and concepts of film analysis, knowledge of the general context of Shakespeare’s impact and influence in the global sphere, and insight into the relations between Western and non-Western cultures.


Teaching will take the form of nine film viewings followed by weekly small group discussion, focussing on the processes of adaptation and reception. Five lecture/workshop sessions will explore criticism of the films, some basic techniques of film analysis, and the history of Shakespeare adaptation more generally. All work will involve close critical study of the films and detailed attention to their relationship to the source plays.

Teaching methods

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

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1750 Word Essay35.00
Essay2750 Word Essay65.00
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: 29/04/2022 15:24:12


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