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Shakespeare's Histories and Romantic Comedies

ENGL 036.001
instructor(s):
MWF 1

The class shall consider eight of Shakespeare's history plays and five or six of his comedies as part of Elizabethan culture in the 1590s. We shall ask how these plays construct and problematize notions of nature, the supernatural, the state, political authority as well as notions of the family, social status, gender, and the self. We shall examine how characters within the plays struggled with these notions in shaping their values and lives. The discussions will cover the three parts of Henry VI, Richard III, Richard II, the two parts of Henry IV, and Henry V; The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labor's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night. Two papers, hour test, final examination. (NOTE: Taking this course, and a course in medieval literature, will fulfill the usual English 201 requirement.)