English | Late Plays of Shakespeare
L314 | 2950 | Ellen MacKay

Ellen MacKay

2950 - 11:15a-12:30p TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.

In this course we will read examples of Shakespeare's later
tragedies, histories, comedies, and romances as a body of dramatic
literature that wields a great deal of present influence, and one
that supplies us with compelling evidence of a culture that is
simultaneously familiar to, and wildly dissimilar from, our own. As
we study Shakespeare's take on issues as varied as the marriage
bond, the politics of conquest, the problems of neo-classicism, and
the complex relation of theatricality to 'truth,' we will also
discuss the ways Shakespeare's dramaturgy changes over time, leading
to the emergence of new genres and dramatic styles.

In order to situate our chosen texts in critical context, we will
undertake close readings of the plays alongside careful analysis of
some representative secondary criticism. Each member of the class
will complete at least two presentations, one on a selection from a
dramatic work and another on a critical essay, both of which involve
a written component. The course requirements also include a midterm
and three papers--two very short (2 pp.) and one longer, research
essay on an idea developed from one of the shorter assignments.

Plays: Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida, All's Well That Ends
Well, King Lear, Macbeth, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest.