Literature: Drama,Short Stories and Poems

Ref: C3743078

We will begin by exploring the key tensions and conflicts of Ibsen’s play 'The Master Builder'. Is the play about heroic aspiration? Or is it about a deluded man whose pride and ambition are destructive? What roles do the female characters play? Does Ibsen gradually reveal the ways in which the past has influenced the present? We will consider Ibsen's powerful use of imagery and symbolism, the importance of the social, cultural and intellectual background, and different ways of performing the play. The course will also include a selection of short stories and poems that explore the themes of ambition, love and loneliness, and the spirit of place. As well as discussing themes, we will look at ways of analysing poems and short stories.

Course aim

During the first half of the course we will discuss the themes, style, and structure of Henrik Ibsen's play 'The Master Builder'. We will then consider some short stories and poems.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • The course is for anyone who is interested in Literature. Although the course will be taught at Level 3, there are no entry requirements apart from an interest and enthusiasm for Literature.

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

  • Discuss the themes and the clash of attitudes and values.
  • Comment on key contrasts of character.
  • Discuss the structure of 'The Master Builder'.
  • Discuss the use of tone, imagery and symbolism.
  • Gain confidence in discussing ideas and in appreciating different interpretations.

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
  • Your tutor will ask you to take part in discussion. You will have the opportunity to introduce a topic, but this is not required. Each week you will be given questions and issues to think about in preparation for the next week’s session.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • The tutor will give you informal feedback on your progress. You can contact the tutor by email if you need advice or feedback. The tutor will give you advice about how to build up your confidence if you feel shy about participating.

What else do I need to know?

  • Please bring a copy of Henrik Ibsen’s ‘The Master Builder’ to the first class. Please try to obtain: Henrik Ibsen, 'Plays One: Ghosts, The Wild Duck, The Master Builder', translated by Michael Meyer and published by Methuen Drama paperbacks.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • To prepare for the first class, please think about the themes, the contrasts of character and the dramatic tensions in Act One of 'The Master Builder'.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course information sheet

Literature: Drama,Short Stories and Poems

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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