English | Early Plays of Shakespeare
L313 | 2209 | Charnes


L313 2209 CHARNES	
Early Plays of Shakespeare

4:00p-5:15p TR (30) 3 CR.

This course will examine social and political politics, familial
relations, and competing versions of “history” in eight of
Shakespeare’s Elizabethan plays. We will pay special attention to
how social and economic systems organize familial and love
relations, how conflicts between individuals and social codes are
worked out (or not, depending on one’s viewpoint), through
strategies of genre, scapegoating, misrecognition, marriage, death
and revenge. We will ground our reading of the plays in Renaissance
social and cultural history, looking at the effects of female rule
in a patriarchal culture, an emerging capitalist economy, and other
factors that strongly influenced gender, family and class
relationships. We will read several comedies, history plays, and
tragedies; and look at how the choice, structure, and conventions of
genre alter, disguise or reveal the debates and crises circulating
in early modern England and the theatre.

Plays will include Richard II, 1 Henry IV, Much Ado about Nothing,
Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. Requirements will
be two papers, a midterm, attendance and participation, and a final
exam.