Autumn 2019 -- English 323 A,
Shakespeare before 1603,
Instructor: W.R. Streitberger
Meeting Time: MW 9:30am - 11:20am
Location: SMI 405
The Course: This is a junior-senior level course in which we will learn a fair amount about Shakespeare’s life, times, theater and about the criticism of his plays. These poems and plays provide exciting reading challenges. They are brilliant, beautiful, moving, meaningful, and profoundly unsettling. The complicate everything and simplify nothing. Because they have inspired literary artists from Emily Dickinson to Proust, playwrights from Webster to Brecht and Beckett; and influential philosophers like Hegel, Marx, Freud, and Lacan, they have become woven into the fabric of our culture. We will focus on the artistry in Shakespeare’s texts—the use of language and poetry, the ideas of dramatic construction, the understanding of genre--to gain insight into how his plays deviate from conventional practices, how they attempt to shape his own culture's social and political experience into art, how they make meaning, and how they produce emotional experience.
I have ordered The Norton Shakespeare, 3rd ed. The Essential Plays/ Poems. If you own another respectable edition you may use it.