ENG32790 Shakespeare in Film&Television

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module will look at the way that some of Shakespeare's comedies (The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing) have been adapted for the big and small screen. We will address different versions of a small number of comedies, considering the interpretations that underlie the adaptations, the responses to key interpretative controversies in each play, the way the comedies are made to resonate with the various concerns of modern audiences, and the understandings of Shakespeare that inform the film appropriations. Students will anchor their engagement with the film and television adaptations through readings of the plays in performance, analyse the ways the plays have been adapted for television and cinema screens, and imagine other possibilities for television or film adaptation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this module, students will have demonstrated the ability to:
1. Understand adaptation and appropriation as a form of reading and interpretation, and evaluate different readings of Shakespeare's comedies for film and television.
2. Identify key considerations in adapting or appropriating Shakespeare's comedies for the big and small screen, weighing up various options, and imagining other possibilities.
3. Critically assess how modern television and film adaptations have addressed key topics and controversies in the performance of Shakespeare's comedies.
4. Analyse how Shakespeare's comedies have been used to interrogate pressing social concerns, such as changing attitudes to gender and sexuality, through modern film and television adaptation.
5. Critically examine how Shakespeare's dramatic comedies have been adapted for the big and small screen in a range of television and film genres, utilizing genre as a key lens of interpretation.
6. Evaluate the extent to which film adaptations and appropriations of the comedies borrow, question, or subvert the cultural capital of Shakespeare.

Indicative Module Content:

Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Film and television adaptations
Zeffirelli, The Taming of the Shrew (1967)
Junger, 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
BBC, ShakespeaReTold, The Taming of the Shrew (2005)

Hall, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968)
Hoffman, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1998)
Kerr; BBC, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016)

Branagh, Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Whedon, Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
BBC, Upstart Crow 3.4 (2018)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This is a seminar type module that will include a mix of short lecture content, plenary discussion, individual, pair and group work, active learning, reflection, and writing. All film and television adaptations will be made available to students via YuJa on Brightspace. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
DRAM20050 - Shakespeare on Film

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.