This is a 200 level university course in Shakespeare’s plays and poetry. Early in his career Shakespeare was primarily a writer of poetry, comedies, and histories; in his later career he primarily wrote tragedies and tragicomedies. We will be concerned with close reading and discussion of works written throughout his career: A selection of the Sonnets, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Othello, Measure for Measure and The Tempest. Our focus will be both on the artistry in Shakespeare’s texts—the use of language and poetry, the ideas of dramatic construction, the understanding of genre, the conception of gender, the idea of theater, the impact of education on choice and treatment of subjects, the history of the texts, and criticism of his works—and in film adaptations
The Norton Shakespeare, Essential Plays/ Sonnets 3rd ed.
I will provide you with reading assignments and study questions for each hour of our class sessions. Your job will be to give some purposeful thought to them before class time and then come to our sessions fully prepared to engage these topics.
Two five page essays
Two timed exams consisting of multiple choice and short answer or short essay questions that test your understanding of how to discuss passages from the poems and plays, the material presented in lectures, and questions for class discussion. Exams will require careful and thorough preparation.