Iconoclasts: Three Irish Plays

Ref: C3670923

With close reading of the texts and by the use of recordings, we will study plays by George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and John Millington Synge in which the playwrights challenge the assumptions of their time.

Course aim

We will study plays by Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and John Millington Synge, all of whom challenged some of the assumptions of their time.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the beliefs, values and assumptions that the three playwrights challenge.
  • Describe the dramatic techniques employed by the three playwrights and evaluate their effectiveness.
  • Analyse the plays in terms of plot, characterisation, theme and language.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • I will encourage volunteers to offer presentations on various aspects of the background to the plays.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • The tutor will provide all the texts which he will annotate to help comprehension. The tutor will also provide DVDs and CDs so that students may learn from different interpretations of the text.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • If students would like to see the Course Handbook before the start of the course, the tutor will send a copy as an email attachment. This should be ready in August 2017. The tutor's email address is: jonathanbrown85@hotmail.com

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course outline

Iconoclasts: Three Irish Plays Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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