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Department Links with Lancaster Castle

view of Lancaster Castle

The Department's Collaboration with Lancaster Castle began in 2012 as part of the British Shakespeare Association conference ‘Shakespeare Inside Out: Depth / Surface / Meaning' and the 2012 commemoration of the 1612 Lancashire Witch Trial.

In 2013-14 undergraduates and postgraduates in the Department have the opportunity to experience some site specific study of sixteenth and seventeenth century literature with seminars and workshops in the Castle. 

On November 19-21 Lady Jane Lumley's 1550 translation of Euirpides Iphigenia at Aulis was performed in the Castle. Further workshops for schools and for the public will be offered as part of the Lancaster Season of Shakespeare from 28 February-28th March


BA and MA seminars at Lancaster Castle


‘Imprisonment and Liberty in Measure for Measure’ Tuesday 21st January 2-3 and 3-4 p.m.

‘Be absolute for death’ (3.1.5) declares the Duke to Claudio, who is imprisoned and awaiting execution. Explore the resonance of these lines in Lancaster Castle, a space where people were held and hung at the monarch’s pleasure in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and beyond. The workshop will take place in the former prison settings which are haunted by the presence of those who previously occupied them. No acting experience necessary but not for the faint-hearted!

Shakespeare Workshop: Macbeth and Witchcraft
Tuesday 25th 2-4 p.m

(In the witches’ dungeon at Lancaster Castle)

These seminars will consider the idea of the witches apparently offering power and freedom of action to Macbeth but his crimes of regicide and murder ultimately trapping him to be ‘cabin’d, cribb’d confin’d, bound in / To saucy doubts and fears’ just as the historical men and women who were accused of witchcraft at the assizes in Lancaster Castle and held in the witches dungeon were trapped.

MA Workshop: Capturing Witches Monday 10th February 10-12 am
Dungeons, Lancaster Castle

This seminar will investigate the documents and the sites that were used to ‘capture’ so-called witches in Lancashire in the 1612 and 1634 trials and in the literary reworkings of those trials, notably in Thomas Potts’s Discovery of Witches in Lancashire (1613)and Heywood and Brome’s comedy The Late Lancashire Witches (1634). The seminar will begin in one of the upper dungeons in Lancaster Castle, and will include a descent to the witches’ dungeon where the 1612 victims were held, interrogated and tortured.


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Distinguished Professor
Terry Eagleton

Terry Eagleton

Terry Eagleton, the internationally celebrated literary scholar and cultural theorist gives public and undergraduate lectures, open MA seminars, and specialist PhD tutorials. View events»

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