This course is designed to introduce students to Shakespeare through the study of his dramatic works. Students of all levels are welcome and no prior experience is required or assumed. We will read nine of Shakespeare's plays, including some of his most celebrated: comedies like Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Measure for Measure; histories like Richard II, Henry V; tragedies like Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Othello; and the late romance, The Tempest. As we read Shakespeare's plays, we will analyze their genre, dramatic structure, and language as well as how they engage with social and political issues of Shakespeare's time. We will specifically address issues of performance and textual history through interactive assignments. The course is designed to develop a critical vocabulary for discussing the formal structures and historical contexts of Shakespeare's plays, cultivate facility in reading and writing about Shakespeare's works, and encourage independent and original research on Shakespeare in his own time as well as our own. Course requirements will include brief writing assignments, a performance exercise, a presentation, and a final research project.
This course fulfills Arts and Letters Sector.