Brief Description of Course: Robert Graves once famously observed that “the remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good – in spite of all the people who say he is very good.” In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to decide for yourself as we encounter a selection of Shakespeare’s plays that span the course of his career. As well as situating these works within the early modern socio-political-cultural milieu, we will consider the various literary genres in which Shakespeare wrote. These plays will be studied primarily through close reading, i.e. critically considering textual aspects such as rhetorical intent; imagery, word and metaphor choice; and sentence, speech and plot structure. As well, remembering that these plays were written to be seen and heard, rather than read, we’ll be looking at various dramatic renderings of the plays on the course.
Required Reading: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; As You Like It; Henry IV pt. 1; Julius Caesar; King Lear; All’s Well That Ends Well; The Winter’s Tale.
Texts will be available at the Bob Miller Book Room (180 Bloor St. W., 416-922-3557). While I have ordered the Oxford editions of the plays, any reputable versions will suffice. I recommend the Oxfords due to the high quality of editorial work and text explanations / glossings they offer.
First Three Authors/Texts: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Henry IV pt. 1
Method of Instruction: Lecture/DiscussionMethod of Evaluation: TBA