L313 2209 FINDLEY
Early Plays of Shakespeare

1:25p-2:15p MWF (30) 3 CR.

We will read plays representing the three genres—history, comedy, and tragedy—from the first half of Shakespeare’s career: King John, Richard II, As You Like It, Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, and Hamlet. The course will emphasize the relation between the theatrical world and the social and political world (real life) on which the theater provides an important focus and commentary. We also will look at Hamlet as a revenge tragedy. How does the genre (with Titus as another example of a revenge tragedy) change our understanding of Hamlet? (I may include Thomas Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy as a non-Shakespearean example of the genre.) I expect close, careful reading. All assignments are structured toward this end. They include short reading quizzes, two critical essays, a mid-term, and a final. Attendance is required.