ENG336H1F L0101ENG336H1F L0101 T1-3, R1
Topics in Shakespeare
Prof. Uzo Esonwanne
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 715
Brief Description of Course:
What happens when, as readers, we encounter Literature? Is our encounter or reading mediated (by expectations about genre, for example) or is it unmediated? If the former, we may be quite satisfied with a formalist, text–centred, approach to Shakespeare and the Shakespearean oeuvre. If the latter, we would probably want to explore the issue of mediation by addressing questions such as the following: what assumptions about Literature/Drama/Theatre, about reading a dramatic text or being in the audience of a dramatic performance, and about readers and theatre audiences shape our understanding and interpretation of Shakespearean texts? What conventions or rules govern our encounters, as readers, with such texts? Is there any difference between the conventions by which we read a Shakespearean sonnet and (a poetic passage in) a Shakespearean tragedy those by which we read a journalistic report on, say, the political drama that unfolds daily around us? What (aesthetic, intellectual, moral, philosophical, sensual, and ideological) satisfactions do we derive from such reading encounters, and how might awareness of these conventions shape or modify these satisfactions? In this course, we will attempt to answer these questions by attending closely to the protocols of reading that precede our encounters (our dialogues) with selected texts such as The Merchant of Venice
, Julius Caesar
, Anthony and Cleopatra
, The Taming of the Shrew
, and The Tempest
Method of Evaluation:
Participation (10%); short in–class oral presentation (20%); midterm exam (30%); final paper (40%).
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