English | Introduction to Shakespeare
L220 | 6818 | Linda Charnes
L220 INTRODUCTION TO SHAKESPEARE
6818 - 2:30p-3:45p TR (60 students) 3 cr. A&H.
What do we mean when we say that something—a situation, a play, a
movie, a novel, a set of emotions, an event-- is “Shakespearean”?
Why do we continue to read and see Shakespeare’s plays, and what is
it about them that makes his work so distinctive after so many
centuries? Given that Shakespeare wrote his plays during the early
modern period in England, what was it about that era that produced
or contributed to his sensibility? What was and remains unique
about the way he challenged his own time and continues to challenge
ours? Is it just that mysterious quality “Genius,” or is there
something we can actually point to that is
singularly “Shakespearean” about Shakespeare? We will pursue these
questions through intensive in-depth reading and discussion of six
plays that arguably represent what is most Shakespearean about
Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Othello,
Henry V, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Requirements: three essays (4-
6pp), a mid-term and a final exam. Attendance and participation
will count for 15% of your course grade.