Note: This course fulfills the Arts & Letters "General Requirement"
within the College General Requirement. In English, only English 100-104
are General Requirement courses; almost all others will fulfill the
"distributional" requirement in Arts & Letters. This is an introductory
course--not one for senior majors. Experienced majors should take English
37 or English 235. This course, plus another in medieval literature, may
be used as an alternative to the usual English 201 requirement.
A survey of selected plays by Shakespeare in each of the four genres:
three comedies, three histories, three tragedies, and two romances.
Class lectures will focus on interpretation of the playtexts as works of
art; but such interpretation will remain self-conscious of how it is
alternatively shaped by the two different ways in which we experience a
play, both as text and as performance. We will also be concerned with
the impact the four centuries' tradition of printing and performing the
plays has had on our ability to interpret and respond. Ideally we will
strive to become critically self-conscious about the cultural work
performed by these plays in our own society. There will be two short (4-5 pp.)
papers, one on a textual topic, the other on a performance topic; a midterm
and a final.