The plays we will be reading this semester are: Richard II; 1 Henry IV; The Merchant of Venice; Twelfth Night; Hamlet; King Lear; Othello; The Tempest. These plays will enable us to look at the different genres in which Shakespeare wrote (history, comedy, tragedy, tragi-comedy). We will also be exploring a variety of historical, theatrical, and philosophical questions, with particular attention to political and familial structure, constructions of gender and sexuality, and to the formation (or non-formation) of the "individual." You will be required to write two papers and to do a midterm exam, and there will be quizzes on each play we read. This is basically a lecture course, but there will be some discussion time in the lectures.