Drama & Short Stories

Niveau BA3

EC 6 (te reduceren tot 5 EC)

Frederike Westera (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

januari – maart 2025

You acquire knowledge of a variety of plays and short stories written in the English language.

You are able to analyse these works using the terms for literary analysis as studied from Stephen’s English Literature: a student guide.

You compare the staged production of a play to its written form and reflect on the effect and influence of the director’s decisions and actors’ performance.

Korte beschrijving inhoud
Student: Can I read Shakespeare’s Hamlet? The one with the famous “To be or not to be?” speech?

Teacher: Of course! We actually call that kind of speech a soliloquy. You may also choose another tragedy to read, such as Macbeth or King Lear.

Student: Can I also read more recent plays written by female authors?

Teachers: Definitely. For this course choose several well-known and lesser known plays and even short stories to read, analyse, reflect on, and enjoy. You will study and learn to work with tools that can be used to analyse these works. The focus is on materials and terminology that can be used in secondary education.

Werkvormen (blended opzet)

Dag waarop face-to-face bijeenkomsten plaatsvinden
Two sessions; at the start and halfway through the course.

60-minute oral exam.


– Stephen, M. English Literature: a student guide. Routledge 2013.

– 10 plays in total, to be self-selected from the following list:

  • Edward Albee: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • One absurdist play: Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot or Harold Pinter: The Caretaker or The Dumb Waiter
  • Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, or A View from the Bridge
  • Peter Shaffer: Equus
  • Shakespeare: 1 history play, 1 tragedy, 1 comedy
  • Bernard Shaw: Pygmalion
  • Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire or  A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or The Glass Menagerie

– You watch one staged performance of one of the plays you have read, either in the theatre or on film.

– 10  self-selected short stories, one per author. Suggestions: Raymond Carver, Roald Dahl, Jane Gardam, Alice Munro, Edgar Allan Poe, David Sedaris, Muriel Spark, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood.