The Ties that Bind: Family in Shakespeare's Plays
In this course we will dive into five plays by Shakespeare centered on contentious family relationships. Sibling rivalry, childish adults, defiant children, jealous husbands, absent mothers, generation gaps—we will see, Shakespeare has got it all covered. In the comedies/romances, family disputes and estrangement are eventually resolved but in the tragedies messed up family relationships lead to dire consequences such as murder, suicide and death. We will explore the ways in which familial conflicts in the plays intersect with larger social and political issues of governance, loyalty, race and gender. Plays to be studied: Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, King Lear and Winter’s Tale. Written assignments include two 5-7 pages critical essays.