English - Free topic F: The oddity of Jane Austen & Love, Service and Friendship in Shakespeare

Course content

The Oddity of Jane Austen - Charles Lock

Austen’s novels have become so canonical, so familiar, and so “normalized” by adaptations that her peculiarity tends to be overlooked.


This course will examine four of her novels (Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Persuasion) while paying some attention to Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan and Sanditon.

The focus will be on the strangeness of her writing and the oddity of her perceptions, as seen in the perspective of her contemporaries and as may become visible again in our own perspective.


Details about reading for this part of the course will be announced later.


Love, Service and Friendship in Shakespeare – Søs Haugaard

Taking our point of departure in 4--5 Shakespeare plays and a number of his sonnets, we will be discussing Love, Service and Friendship in Shakespeare.


Two perspectives come together in this course:

One concerns male friendship and homosocial and homoerotic norms in Shakespeare and in late sixteenth/early seventeenth England generally. The other concerns the complexities of mutual loyalty between master and servant as an integral part of courtly culture and courtly ideals in the same period. We shall be discussing Shakespeare’s representation of service and loyalty and the poetic and dramatic potential of this special relationship as well as in male friendship.

Classes, with particular emphasis on reading primary and secondary texts, oral discussion and developing proficiency in English.

Texts: Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and selected sonnets in.

Shakespeare, William et al. The Arden Shakespeare Complete Works. London, Arden Shakespeare, 2011.


Secondary Literature (available online via the Royal Library):

  • Belsey, Catherine. “The Name of the Rose in 'Romeo and Juliet'.” The Yearbook of English Studies, vol. 23, 1993, pp. 126–142. www.jstor.org/stable/3507977
  • Bray, Alan. "Homosexuality and the Signs of Male Friendship in Elizabethan England." History Workshop 29 (1990): 1-19. Web.
  • Evett, David. Discourses of Service in Shakespeare’s England. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
  • Gerstell, Emily. "All's [Not] Well: Female Service and 'Vendible' Virginity in Shakespeare's Problem Play." Journal of Early Modern Studies, no. 4, 2015, pp. 187-211. ProQuest, https://search.proquest.com/docview/1674186130?accountid=13607, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/JEMS-2279-7149-15806.
  • MacFaul, Tom. Male Friendship in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Schalkwyk, David. Shakespeare, Love and Service. Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Schalkwyk, David. "Love and Service in "Twelfth Night" and the Sonnets." Shakespeare Quarterly 56.1 (2005): 76-100. Web.

This course only leads to exams Free Topic 4 with Written and Oral Proficiency in English.

Kurset kan også bruges Frit emne A (inkl. skriftlig sprogfærdighed) og Frit emne B (inkl. mundtlig sprogfærdighed) under Kandidatdelen af sidefaget i engelsk 2019, samt Frit emne (inkl. skriftlig og mundtlig sprogfærdighed) under Kandidatdelen af sidefaget i engelsk 2020.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • English
  • 409,5