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ITA4360 - Italian Theatre From Goldoni to Fo

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Annamaria Pagliaro


Not offered in 2007


Unit looks at the development of the Italian theatre from the Commedia dell'Arte to modern theatre. It analyses works by Carlo Goldoni, Federico De Roberto, Eduardo De Filippo and Dario Fo. The unit considers critical approaches to the prescribed texts and, using as a starting point Dario Fo's Manuale minimo dell'attore, it will examine aspects of the Commedia dell'Arte which have filtered through to modern theatre such as the use of the mask and philosophical issues relating to it and the function of comicality, satire and humour. Attention will be given to the response of individual playwrights to issues relating to social reality, identity and representation of reality.


Students successfully completing this unit will be able to demonstrate an analytical approach to theatre texts and processes. As they progressively work through the texts they should acquire an understanding of theatrical signifiers apart from dialogue which contribute to the production of meaning and be able to demonstrate a critical method specific to the genre. Students should gain an understanding of the development of Italian theatre and the socio-historical context in which it evolved and the innovative contribution and adaptation of individual playwrights.


Examination (2 hours): 30%
Two Assignments (2500 words): 60%
3 Seminar participation tasks: 10%
Fourth year students will be expected to demonstrate an analytical and critical understanding of all plays studied and a deeper acquaintance with theoretical issues and socio-historical context.

Contact hours

3 hours (1 hour lecture and 2 hour seminar) per week