Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG320Y1Y  L0101   T1-2, R1-3
Time: T1-2, R1-3
Instructor: Lynne Magnusson

Brief Description of Course: A close study of selected plays and poems, the primary aim of this course is to equip students to explore Shakespeare's themes and dramatic achievement in relation to plot construction, linguistic experimentation, genre, and stage craft. Attention will be paid to shaping influences, especially a grammar-school education focused on classical literature and language arts. We will explore how the plays engage with early modern social and political contexts, including family, gender and sexuality, class, and race; court, city, and country; theatre and print culture; nation and empire. We will also reflect on the process by which Shakespeare became such a major cultural icon and briefly consider the reception of his work across the centuries. The course assesses the intellectual contribution of Shakespeare's works and introduces some current developments in Shakespeare studies.

Required Reading: Twelve to thirteen Shakespeare plays and some poetry, including such works as The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, Titus Andronicus, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, 1 Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, The Tempest, Shakespeare’s Sonnets (selected); some secondary critical readings.

First Three Authors/Texts: Titus Andronicus; The Taming of the Shrew; Richard III.

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion, with student participation encouraged.

Method of Evaluation: Short assignment (10%); two essays (15% + 25%); two term tests (15% + 20%); and, participation and issue sheets (15%).

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