This course is an upper-level survey of Shakespeare’s works from the early part of his career as a poet and playwright. Ordinarily we would cover the full breadth of his early output, including narrative and lyric poetry, festive and mature comedies, a history play, and at least one tragedy. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the limitations of distance education, we have to scale back our plans a bit and focus instead on a few representative works, viz. Venus and Adonis, The Sonnets, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and The Merchant of Venice. Class will be asynchronous with an optional weekly synchronous component. Evaluation will be based on twice-weekly participation exercises on Canvas, two exams, and two short video projects. A textbook is required: The Norton Shakespeare, vol. 1: Early Plays and Poems.