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Shakespearean Romance Theory Presentations

Page history last edited by Eric Leonidas 2 years, 4 months ago

398: Theory Presentations




The assignment is pretty simple: you and your partner will give a short presentation (about 10 minutes) explaining two theoretical concepts and using one of the plays to show what each concept can help us see, and any limitations to its use.




For each term, you must run through the following:




For each concept, you should provide a concise definition.  You may adopt the definition from our “Theory Concepts” webpage, from the various handouts I gave you, or from another source.  You should give your definition to the class, but also a very brief elaboration.


General Claim


I’d like you to simply and quickly explain, in general terms, what your concept can illuminate in your play that we wouldn’t otherwise see.  So, for instance, the psychoanalytic notion of “repression” might help us understand a sexual attraction between Leontes or Polixenes that we may not have noticed without the concept: or Structuralism’s “Sign” might help us to see the Bear not only as the destroyer of Antigonus but also as a guarantor of Providential oversight.


Evidence for General Claim


I’d like you to briefly look at one passage from the play, pulling out important words, phrases and images, to support your “General Claim” above.


Theoretical Critique


Briefly explain any limits or shortcomings to using your theoretical concept.  Does it flatten differences among texts, or treat the text merely as a means to talk about other things?  Does it treat a character as an actual human being, rather than a set of words and gestures?  Do we lose sight of the small ways characters resist “determinist” influences, whether psychological, political, ideological, etc.?




I'd like your presentation to be guided by a one-page handout, which includes your definition, your claim (that's the "overview"--2-3 sentences max, and a passage you will explain. 


You each will do this for 1 term, but using a common play.  If you do the math, you'll see you only have a few minutes for each section, so you'll need to be concise and organized.






: subjectivity and displacement

: misogyny and ideology (Marx)

: repression and subversion



: ideology (Cultural Materialism) and organic unity

: objectification and unconscious

: hegemony and differance

: logocentrism and patriarchy

: paradox and Structuralist sign (sign=signifier + signified)


Please note that I am assigning both students both theory terms; you may work on them and present them together, or each take one.


Also, if you would prefer to use an alternate term I haven't assigned to another group, whether it is on our concepts page or not, please check with me.



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