English Literature (2012/2013)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Rita Severi
Rita Severi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 19, 2012 al Jan 20, 2013.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course will analyze four plays by Shakespeare set mainly in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, the idea of the Renaissance in a comparative perspective, English and Italian, taking into consideration Anglo/Italian contexts in the 16th century and, in particular, English authors who have travelled to Italy, who have left relevant accounts or have followed the prevailing Italian cultural fashion.
The main objective of this course is to make students appreciate the international genius of Shakespeare, his ability in contextualizing foreign situations, his familiarity with the most important cities of the Veneto (Verona, Padua, Venice) which can be easily visited, during the course, following Sixteenth century English guidebooks. Students will also learn about “material culture”, “artistic culture”, and “fads”, such as the novel conception of a “sober life”, or the new “vegetarian” diet introduced by Jacopo Castelvetro in England.


Required reading:
“Shakespeare in the Veneto”:
W. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Arden ed. , or any good English/Italian ed. (Rizzoli, Mondadori,
W. Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Arden, ed. or any good English/Italian ed.
W. Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Arden ed. or any good English/Italian ed.
W. Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Arden ed. , or any good English/Italian ed.
Required Critical Texts:
R. Severi, Rinascimenti, Bologna, Patron 2009
S. Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, London, Cape, 2004.
English Literature:
A. Sanders, ed., The Short Oxford History of English Literature, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004) , Chapter 3: Renaissance & Reformation Literature 1510-1620, pp. 86-188.

Assessment methods and criteria

In order to pass the exam students should attend class and follow all the activities. A short research paper, whose topic has to be communicated to the docent one week in advance, will have to be presented before the oral exam (5-10 pages) . Students must come to the exam with their books. No photocopies are allowed.