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Topics in Shakespeare

ENGL 235.301
instructor(s):
MW 3-4:30

In this course we will explore the conjunction of memory and desire in the plays of William Shakespeare. We will situate Shakespeare's conception of memory within a broader historical context by examining the memento mori tradition, Renaissance treatises on memory, and changing views of time and history in early modern England. The plays we discuss will include Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Richard II, 1 Henry IV, and The Tempest. In addition to reading the plays, we will delve into some of Shakespeare's sonnets and view contemporary films such as Titus, Memento, and My Own Private Idaho. Our study of these plays, poems, and films will be driven by questions concerning memory and the act of mourning, nostalgia and the writing of history, utopian amnesia, and the mnemonic technology of the book.