Estb. 1882

University of the Punjab

Modern Drama

Code: 303
Title: Modern Drama
Rating: 3 Credit hours
Type: Compulsory
The students are expected to be proficient in spoken and written English. Correct usage of language is mandatory.
The movement toward naturalism in fiction in the latter decades of the 19th century did much to purge both the novel and the drama of the sentimentality and evasiveness that had so long emasculated them. In Norway, Henrik Ibsen incorporated in his plays the smug and narrow ambitiousness of his society. The hypocrisy of overbearing men and women replace, in their fashion, the higher powers of the old tragedy. His major tragic theme is the futility, leading to catastrophe, of the idealist’s effort to create a new and better social order. Anton Chekhov, the most prominent Russian dramatist of the period, wrote plays about the humdrum life of inconspicuous, sensitive people (Uncle Vanya, 1897; The Three Sisters, 1901; and The Cherry Orchard, 1904, are typical), whose lives fall prey to the hollowness and tedium of a disintegrating social order. They are a brood of lesser Hamlets without his compensating vision of a potential greatness. Between 1892 and 1895 Wilde was an active dramatist writing what he identified as "trivial comedies for serious people." His plays were popular because their dialogue was baffling, clever, and often short and clear, relying on puns and elaborate word games for their effect. The English author Oscar Wilde was part of the "art for art's sake" movement in English literature at the end of the nineteenth century.
The aim of this module is to introduce students to a selection of major works in world drama, from nineteenth century to early twentieth century. It will examine original performance practices and conditions, considering these plays within their respective historical and cultural contexts, while also examining current theatrical manifestations. Some of the topics discussed will be naturalism, the epic theatre, feminist narratives, comdey. A primary goal of the course will be to help students develop their ability to closely read, interpret, and write about plays, not only as literary texts but also as blueprints for performance.
• Henrik Ibsen: Hedda Gabler
• Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest
• Anton Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard.
Mid-term: 35%
End-term: 40%
Assignment/Quiz: 25%
Students will:
analyze literature through discussion and writing;
demonstrate an understanding of literary terms, themes, strategies, and issues as are relevant to the works being studied;
express their understanding of the relationship between literature and the historical/cultural contexts in which it was written;
demonstrate basic knowledge of the chronology of authors and literary periods/movements;
interpret literature through the lens of their own experience and through the lenses of various schools of literary criticism ; and
Credit hours/ Marks:- 03

Reference Books

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