English | Late Plays of Shakespeare
L314 | 6820 | Linda Charnes
L314 LATE PLAYS OF SHAKESPEARE
6820 - 4:00p-5:15p TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.
This course will examine social, familial, and sexual politics in
six 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: Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida, King Lear, Othello,
Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest.