Brief Description of Course: We will read one play by written Shakespeare and about half a dozen of the plays written by his contemporaries and successors between the accession of King James I (1603) and the closing of the theatres (1642). Topics for lecture and discussion will be wide-ranging but will continually return to questions of dramatic style, influence, and canon: how is one author different from another? how does one author build upon another? what are the differences between the drama of Shakespeare and the drama of his contemporaries and successors?
Required Reading: Shakespeare, Hamlet; Anon., The Revenger’s Tragedy; Webster, The Duchess of Malfi; Middleton and Rowley, The Changeling; Jonson, Volpone; Fletcher, The Custom of the Country; Massinger, A New Way to Pay Old Debts. (This list is subject to change.)
First Three Authors/Texts: TBA.
Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion.
Method of Evaluation: Reading quizzes (15%); short reading responses (25%); essay (30%); participation (10%); test (20%).