L313 1959 MACKAY
Early Plays of Shakespeare

9:30a-10:45a MW (30) 3 cr.

This course will examine examples of Shakespeare’s early tragedies, histories and comedies as a body of literature that wields a great deal of present influence, and that supplies us with rich and compelling evidence of the kinds of influences that infused early modern English culture. We will contemplate Shakespeare’s take on such pressing matters as the new domesticity, classicism, the nation, revenge, human rights, sexuality, republicanism, religious reform, and theatrical performance.

In addition to undertaking close readings of the plays, we will read and critique some representative secondary criticism. Each member of the class will complete at least two in-class presentations, one on a play and another on a critical essay, both of which include a written component. The course will culminate in a research essay accompanied by an annotated bibliography.

Plays: The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, Richard II, Julius Caesar, Othello, Measure for Measure.