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Pre-1770 Drama: Context & Genre (Download units)

33 pages


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A 33-page collection of photocopiable PDF units from Pre-1770 Drama raising key ideas about the age and introducing ideas about comic and tragic genres, exploring their roots in Classical forms of drama.

1. An introduction to the age explores the Elizabethan and Jacobean period including how drama may reflect or challenge the preoccupations of the period.

2. Introducing contexts uses a short speech from Hamlet (‘What a piece of work is man’) to explore the usefulness of different kinds of context and provides contextual background for any play of the period.

3. An introduction to genre looks at the concept of genre in modern and Renaissance times; the influence of classical models and the ways in which they were adapted with suggestions for how to apply these to set texts.

4. The Italian context considers why Italy was used as a setting for so many English Renaissance plays; through play extracts, exploring what is represented and how it was used for stories, settings and themes.

Print edition

The pack as a whole uses substantial extracts from many of the set texts to promote close reading of the language of the plays and uses visual and textual material from the period and by modern historians to introduce cultural, social and historical contexts. 

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