Anglophone Drama

Katarina Labudova

Winter 2019/20

Course outline


  1. Drama and theatre. Play and performance.
  2. Genres. Characters.
  3. Development of drama. Medieval drama. Elizabethan tragedy.
  4. Shakespeare: Theatre poet. The Globe. Language and poetry in Shakespeare’s plays
  5. Reading The Midsummer Night’s Dream/ As You Like It. Themes and issues: love and marriage. Disguise and gender confusion.
  6. Dramatic and Literary Conventions: Soliloquy. The political and the pastoral. The individual and the society. Comedy and its functions.
  7. William Wycherley: The Country Wife/ Behn: The Rover

Women Writers in the 17th c. Restoration drama and  theatres. William Wycherley: The Country Wife /Behn: The Rover. Love, marriage and family.

  1. Gender and drama. Text and performance.
  2. John Millington Synge: Riders to the Sea/ Susan Glaspell: The Trifles
  3. Comparing genres: comedy and tragedy. Realistic drama. Space, speech and silence. Naturalism. Myth.
  4. Contemporary women’s theatre: Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine/ Top Girls world: ‘realistic’ conversation. All-female cast.
  5. Themes and issues: death, nihilism, absurd drama.
  6. Samuel Beckett: Endgame. Visual images. New themes./ Margaret Edson: The Wit



Presentation 20%, response papers 20%, essay 20% (Jan 15), test 30%, quizzes 10%


Reading list:

William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Wycherley: The Country Wife

John Millington Synge: Riders to the Sea

Samuel Beckett: Endgame

Caryl Churchill: Cloud Nine

Shakespeare, William. As You Like It

Behn, Aphra. The Rover

Glaspell, Susan. Trifles

Churchill, Caryl. Top Girls

Edson, Margaret. Wit

Shakespeare, William. As You Like It

Behn, Aphra. The Rover

Glaspell, Susan. Trifles

Churchill, Caryl. Top Girls

Edson, Margaret. Wit


Compulsory References:

Hughes, Derek and Janet Todd (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Aphra Behn. CUP, 2004.

Hughes, Derek. The Theatre of Aphra Behn. Palgrave, 2001.

Smart, John. 20th Century British Drama: Cambridge Contexts in Literature. Cambridge: CUP, 2001.

Makowsky, Veronica. Susan Glaspell’s Century of American Women. OUP, 1993.

Hernando-Real, Noelia. Self and Space in the Theater of Susan Glaspell. McFarland, 2011.

Dutton, Richard. (ed.) Blackwell’s Companion to Shakespeare’s Works. Blackwell, 2003.

Goodman, Lizbeth, ed. Literature and Gender. London: Routledge, 1996.

Owens, W.R.- Lizbeth, Goodman, eds. Shakespeare, Aphra Behn and the Canon. London: Routledge, 1996.

Landy, Alice S. The Heath Introduction to Literature. 3rd ed.Lexington: Heath, 1988.



Knapp, Peggy. "The 'Plyant' Discourse of Wycherley's the Country Wife." SEL: Studies in English Literature (Johns Hopkins), 40.3 (2000): 451-472.


Vanhoutte, Jacqueline. “Cancer and the Common Woman in Margaret Edson's "W;t"”. Comparative Drama. Vol. 36, No. 3/4 (Fall/Winter 2002-03), pp. 391-410

Matalene, H.W. "What Happens in the Country-Wife." Studies in English Literature (Rice), 22.3 (1982): 395-411.

Nykrog, Per. "In the Ruins of the Past: Reading Beckett Intertextually." Comparative Literature, 36.4 (1984): 289-311.

Kumar, K. Jeevan. “The Chess Metaphor in Samuel Beckett's ‘Endgame’”. Modern Drama. 40.4 , (1997): 540-552.

Tobin, J.J.M. "The Irony of 'Hermia' and 'Helena'." American Notes & Queries, 17.10 (1979): 154.

Coatalen, Guillaume. "THE FAERIE QUEENE, VI.vii.32.1, a MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, II.i.2, and PARADISE LOST- IV. 538." Notes & Queries, 51.4 (2004): 360-361.

Hunt, Maurice. "A Speculative Political Allegory in a Midsummer Night's Dream." Comparative Drama, 34.4 (2000): 423-453.

Kiss, Attila.  “Cloud 9, Metadrama, and the Post-semiotics of the Subject. The AnaChronisT. (Annual 2003): 223.

Hull, Keith N. “Natural Supernaturalism in Riders to the Sea.” Colby Quaterly, 25.4 (1989): 245-52.

Linda Ben-Zvi."Murder, She Wrote": The Genesis of Susan Glaspell's "Trifles". Theatre Journal. Vol. 44, No. 2, American Scenes (May, 1992), pp. 141-162. Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press. DOI: 10.2307/3208736. table URL:


Orit Kamir. “To Kill a Songbird: A Community of Women, Feminist Jurisprudence, Conscientious Objection and Revolution in A Jury of Her Peers and Contemporary Film. “Law and Literature. Vol. 19, No. 3 (Fall 2007), pp. 357-376. Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Cardozo School of Law. DOI: 10.1525/lal.2007.19.3.357. Stable URL:

Anita Pacheco. “Rape and the Female Subject in Aphra Behn's "The Rover". ELH. Vol. 65, No. 2 (Summer, 1998), pp. 323-345

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Stable URL:


Susan Carlson. “Cannibalizing and Carnivalizing: Reviving Aphra Behn's "The Rover".”Theatre Journal. Vol. 47, No. 4, Eighteenth-Century Representations (Dec., 1995), pp. 517-539. Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

DOI: 10.2307/3208990. Stable URL:


Helene Keyssar. “The Dramas of Caryl Churchill: The Politics of Possibility”

The Massachusetts Review. Vol. 24, No. 1, Woman: The Arts 1 (Spring, 1983), pp. 198-216. Published by: The Massachusetts Review, Inc.


Elizabeth Klaver . “A Mind-Body-Flesh Problem: The Case of Margaret Edson's "Wit"” Source: Contemporary Literature, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Winter, 2004), pp. 659-683 Published by: University of Wisconsin Press Stable URL:


Rosette C. Lamont. “Coma versus Comma: John Donne's Holy Sonnets in Edson's WIT”.  Source: The Massachusetts Review, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Winter, 1999/2000), pp. 569-575 Published by: The Massachusetts Review, Inc. Stable URL:


Page layout:
Size: A4, portrait
Page numbering: None
Font: Times New Roman (normal, 12 points)
Spacing: Single
Paragraph indent: 5 spaces (except for the initial paragraph)

Title: 14 points, bold, centred
Author’s name: 12 points, normal, centred, two lines spacing above and one line below

References within the text: in parentheses, including author’s name and page(s)
Examples: “No novel by Roth more determinedly interrogates this doubled logic of selfhood than The Counterlife” (Cohen 87).

As Cohen claims, “no novel by Roth more determinedly interrogates this doubled logic of selfhood than The Counterlife” (87).

Quotations: up to five lines in the text, with double quotation marks (“ ”); For quotations within run-on quotations use single quotation marks (‘ ’). Full stops after quotations in quotation marks should be placed within the quotation marks. More than five lines: 11 points; to set off a long quotation, use 10-space indent from the left margin; no quotation marks. One line spacing above and below. Parenthetical citation on the last line of the quotation, two spaces after the full stop that ends the quoted sentence.

Example: No novel by Roth more determinedly interrogates this doubled logic of selfhood than The Counterlife. In all the Zuckerman novels, but especially in the Zuckerman Bound trilogy and epilogue, Roth famously plays on his protagonist as fictive alter ego. Details recognizably belonging to Roth’s own biography are displaced onto Zuckerman’s, teasingly shifting the boundaries of art and life. The Counterlife, however, is not simply another instance of this self-doubling, but a meditation on the very process of doubling. (87)

Bibliography: 11 points
Swales, John. Genre Analysis. English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Cohen, Josh. “Roth’s Doubles.” The Cambridge Companion to Philip Roth. Ed. Timothy Parrish. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 82-93.

MacKinnon, Catherine A. “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory.” Signs 7.3 (Spring 1982): 515-44.
Crane, Stephen. "The Open Boat." Literature Resource Center. Alabama Virtual Library. 12 March 2004, <>.