Discussing the meaning of literature and the effects and importance of it, as well as the Shakespeare part, made me understand more about what I like and what my views are.
Our one-day English workshop will give you the chance to view literature as you have never seen it before – placing literary texts in their real-world and historical contexts. All classes are interactive and will give you the confidence to express your opinions out loud!
You’ill also be academically stretched with readings from a selection of literary works, as well as historical documents and images, and opportunities for you to analyse texts on the spot. Extensive reading lists will offer opportunities for further study.
A look at Shakespeare’s plays as texts written for (and created by) the specific commercial context of the Elizabethan playhouses. Topics include: scenery and production values, the size and composition of the playing companies, publication history and textual debates, rehearsal practices – all with an eye to new dimensions unlocked in the text when they are viewed as historical and theatrical documents.
You will get to perform scenes under Elizabethan rehearsal conditions and get the opportunity to compare 18th, 19th & 20th Century production approaches and contemporary film adaptations.
An examination of important paradigm shifts in the history of literature, comparing literary works with the manifestos and critical statements of various schools and movements (including Romanticism, Modernism, Naturalism, and the Beats).
Key moments of political and historical change – such as the English Civil War, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, World War I and the McCarthy era – will be examined in order to question how literature can influence and be influenced by events in the real world.
How do artists’ statements about why and how they write match up with their work? Does literature follow political and social change or guide it?
Beginning from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, we’ll investigate the notion of artificiality and realism in literature. What is the difference between literature and journalism, or history? How accurately can artists represent life ‘as it is’? Is there a difference between social and psychological realism?
We’ll also look at literature in the age of photography and film, with comparisons to Italian neo-realism and the Nouvelle Vague. Secondary sources may include critics like Walter Benjamin, Auerbach, and Peter Brooks.
Your day runs from 10am - 5.30pm in central London and is split into three sections, with breaks for lunch and well-earned snacks. As part of the day you'll receive a subject-specific workbook, a copy of our book So you want to go to Oxbridge? Tell me about a banana.., which gives you more challenging questions and suggestions as to how you can approach them, and a Course Report for the Oxbridge courses that might be right for you.
Come with an open mind, a thirsty brain and a tasty packed-lunch!