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Revenge and Death in Renaissance Tragedy - Single View

Basic Information
Type of Course Seminar Long text
Number 090649 Short text
Term SS 2020 Hours per week in term
Expected no. of participants Study Year
Max. participants 24
Credits Assignment enrollment
Language english
application period
Department :
Englisches Seminar
Dates/Times/Location Group: [no name] iCalendar export for Outlook
  Day Time Frequency Duration Room Room-
Lecturer Status Remarks Cancelled on Max. participants
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iCalendar export for Outlook
Thu. 14:00 to 16:00 weekly         04.06.2020: 
Group [no name]:

Responsible Instructor
Responsible Instructor Responsibilities
Tronicke, Marlena, Dr. responsible
Graduation - Curricula Sem ECTS Bereich Teilgebiet
Bachelor HRSGe - Englisch (LH 049 18) -
Bachelor Grundschulen - Englisch (LG 049 18) -
Bachelor Berufskollegs - Englisch (LF 049 18) -
Zwei-Fach-Bachelor - Anglistik / Amerikanistik (L2 941 18) -
Bachelor HRSGe - Englisch (LH 049 11) -
Bachelor Berufskollegs - Englisch (LF 049 11) -
Zwei-Fach-Bachelor - Anglistik / Amerikanistik (L2 941 11) -
Bachelor Grundschulen - Englisch (LG 049 11) -
Exams / Modules
Number of Exam Module
16001 Literary and Cultural Studies Level II - Bachelor Berufskollegs Englisch Version 2011
16001 Literary and Cultural Studies Level II - Zwei-Fach-Bachelor Anglistik/Amerikanistik Version 2011
14003 Literary and Cultural Studies - Zwei-Fach-Bachelor Anglistik/Amerikanistik Version 2018
14003 Literary and Cultural Studies - Bachelor Berufskollegs Englisch Version 2018
14002 Literary and Cultural Studies - Bachelor Grundschulen Englisch Version 2018
14003 Literary and Cultural Studies - Bachelor HRSGe Englisch Version 2018
Assign to Departments
Fachbereich 09 Philologie

The revenge tragedy was arguably the most popular subgenre of Renaissance theatre, and not one for the faint-hearted. Elizabethan and Jacobean audiences were fascinated by death, mutilation, and gore, which most revenge tragedies shed in abundance. In this course, we will explore such spectacles of punishment in order to probe what the increasingly excessive and often outright absurd use of violence reveals about Renaissance cultures of violence and retribution. Moreover, we will examine the ways in which they reflect tensions between taking revenge in a private capacity and the (seemingly absent) authority of state justice. Our discussions will be based on two rather different texts: Shakespeare’s infamously bloody and allegedly ‘un-Shakespearean’ Titus Andronicus (1594) and John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi (1614). As in both plays the onstage mutilation or death of female characters plays a major role, we will equally consider the politics of staging death. Also taking into account filmed productions, we will find out how onstage death and mutilation are experienced by the audience and how far, for instance, male and female deaths are gendered in different ways.


The following textual editions are highly recommended:

  • Shakespeare, William. Titus Andronicus. Revised Edition. Ed. Jonathan Bate. London et al: Arden Shakespeare, 2018.
  • Webster, John. The Duchess of Malfi. Ed. Leah S. Marcus. London et al: Arden Early Modern Drama, 2009.

Additional texts and topics for presentations will be announced in the first session.


There will be no preliminary meeting; further information will be distributed via email. Please note the seminar will start in the second week of term, i.e. on 16 April, 2020.


Please note that in order to take part in this course you need to have passed the foundations module.

Structure Tree
Lecture not found in this Term. Lecture is in Term SS 2020 , Currentterm: SoSe 2023