Department of English

University of Toronto


Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
J. Lopez

A survey of some of the most well-known works of Shakespeare alongside some lesser-known works of his most prolific, successful, and popular contemporaries, including (but not limited to) Thomas Dekker, Thomas Heywood, George Chapman Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher, and Anonymous. Topics for research and discussion will include: systems of theatrical and textual production in early modern England; historical and contemporary theories of acting and dramatic form; historical and critical constructions of Shakespeare as a canonical author; the relationship between popular cultural and “literary” forms.

Reading List
Readings will include Thomas Dekker, Northward Ho, George Chapman, The Widow’s Tears, Thomas Heywood, The Rape of Lucrece, Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, The Changeling, John Webster and William Rowley, A Cure for a Cuckold, Anon., Dick of Devonshire, John Fletcher, Four Plays in One. We will also read at least three Shakespeare plays, probably: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Othello, and The Winter’s Tale. Students will also be expected to do some reading of secondary sources (book chapters, journal articles, etc.)

Methods of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Active and informed class participation 20%
Short paper and presentation 30%
Research paper 50%

Monday 3 – 6 pm
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 617
Return to 2012-2013 Graduate Course Timetable.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets
J. Patrick

Course Description

This course will offer students the opportunity to study Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) both in their historical context (Ovid, Dante, Petrarch, and the Elisabethan sonneteers) and in recent modern editions with analytical commentary, namely: Booth (Yale, 1977); Kerrigan (Penguin, 1986); Evans (Cambridge, 1996); Duncan-Jones (Arden, 1997); Vendler (Harvard, 1997); Burrow (Oxford, 2002); Paterson (Faber, 2010); G. R. Ledger ( ). We will read Shakespeare’s Sonnets in their entirety, together with selections from the following Elisabethan sonnet sequences: Barnfield, Cynthia (1595); Daniel, Delia (1592-1601); Drayton, Idea’s Mirror; Idea (1594-1619); Sidney, Astrophil and Stella (1591); Spenser, Amoretti (1595) Equally important however is their treatment as objects of fresh reading and commentary in spite of the spate of recent editions.

Course Text: Shakespeare, Complete Sonnets and Poems, ed. Colin Burrow (Oxford, 2002)

Preliminary Bibliography:

The Cambridge Companion to the Sonnet, ed. A. D. Cousins and Peter Howarth (2011), Blackwell’s Companion to Shakespeare’s Sonnets, ed. Michael Schoenfeldt (2007), Stephen Burt and David Mikics, The Art of the Sonnet (2010)

Three seminar papers (15% each); Final Essay (55%)

Tuesday 9 – 11 am
Victoria College, Room NF 205
Return to 2012-2013 Graduate Course Timetable.

Paradise Lost
M. Nyquist

In this seminar, we will have a rare opportunity to work closely with a single, literary text. Although numerous issues will come up spontaneously in the course of discussion, we will focus on tensions that arise from two different approaches to Paradise Lost: studies that situate it in the historical moment of its production (involving interrelations with contemporary texts and events as well as its precursors) and those that emphasize the history of its reception. When we analyze specific conceptual, generic, verbal, and formal features of Paradise Lost, we will want to reflect upon these two different approaches, as well as tensions between them, by critically examining the sources of any assumptions, knowledge and reading practices, whether our own or those of editors or commentators we come across in research.


The Oxford Milton, John Milton, Political Writings, ed. Martin Dzelzainis

Texts have been ordered through The Bob Miller Book Room, 180 Bloor Street West, Lower Concourse, Toronto. Telephone: (416) 922-3557

Course Work

Participation (25%), Facilitations (25%) Two facilitations or co-facilitations, Textual Analysis (20%), Essay Proposal (5%), Final Essay (25%)

Monday 3 – 6 pm
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 617
Return to 2012-2013 Graduate Course Timetable.

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