English | Late Plays of Shakespeare
L314 | 2019 | Charnes


2:30p-3:45p TR (30) 3 cr

This course will examine social, familial, and sexual politics in eight of
Shakespeare's later plays.  We will pay close attention to how ideological
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 Elizabethan/Jacobean social and cultural history,
considering how the transition from Queen Elizabeth to King James, and an
emerging capitalist economy, affected the representation of gender, family
and class relationships.  We will also read and discuss short selections
from Renaissance treatises on court life, the theatre, women, marriage,
the body, and the family, as well as several articles representative of
some current critical approaches to Shakespeare.  One topic for
consideration will be postmodern "Bardolatry": the ongoing influence and
visibility of Shakespeare's plays in contemporary mass culture, especially
over the last five to ten years.

Format will be a combination of occasional mini-lectures from me and lots
of discussion and participation from you.  There will be two papers, a
midterm, and a final exam; and attendance and participation will count for
a portion of the course grade.

Plays: HAMLET, TWELFTH NIGHT, TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, MEASURE FOR MEASURE,
OTHELLO, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, and THE TEMPEST.