FR30080 Reading Racine's Women

Academic Year 2020/2021

This module aims to examine the representation of some of Racine's principal heroines in the light of seventeenth-century theories of tragedy, and in the light of received ideas concerning women, typical of the patriarchal paradigm of the period. Issues examined will include the representation of women, power and authority, the role of dramaturgical conventions in Racine's art, the evolution of his tragic vision, and the evolution of research trends concerning his work.

The weekly lecture will be online. Students can then choose between a face-to-face seminar on campus or an online seminar.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to: identify and evaluate the issues central to seventeenth-century theories of tragedy; identify and evaluate the issues central to Racine's dramatic vision; analyse the characterisation of Racinian heroines within the context of each play; examine and analyse how Racine's images of women simultaneously subvert and uphold the seventeenth-century status quo; evaluate critically the impact of recent research trends on readings of Racine's plays; present a literature review assessing critical approaches; present a coherent and cogent argument in an essay form.

Indicative Module Content:

Three plays by Racine: Bajazet, Bérénice, Phèdre

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Small-group teaching; critical reading; group work; class discussions; lectures.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

A high level of French is required.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
FR20020 - French Language II a, FR20040 - French Language II b

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Final essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Assignment: Literature review Week 5 n/a Graded No


Essay: Essay or commentary Week 9 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

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