Brief Description of Course: This course surveys a wide range of Shakespeare’s unparalleled dramatic achievement, from his revenge tragedies to his romantic comedies, from his politically trenchant histories to his fantastical late plays. We will begin by considering the narrative and stylistic sources of Shakespeare’s art (classical antiquity, national history, medieval drama, vernacular poetry) and continue by tracking his experiments with dramatic form and genre throughout his career. We will approach the plays both as literary texts and as embodied theatrical events, considering them in the context of the time in which they were written as well as how they have continued to speak to audiences for centuries after Shakespeare’s death. We will give special attention to Shakespeare’s poetic language, dramaturgy, and complex treatments of power, politics, community, family, sex, and the self.
Required Reading: TBA
First Three Authors/Texts: Titus Andronicus; Richard III; A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Method of Evaluation: TBA