This course introduces students to early modern drama, performance, and the Shakespearean text through an intensive study of Hamlet and King Lear, as well as briefer engagements with Henry V, Macbeth, and Two Noble Kinsmen. We will read these plays both in modern editions and in the original playbooks (in facsimile), including multiple versions of the first three. What difference does it make to our understanding of the plays and their author if we “unedit” these plays? Among other topics, we will explore the nature of Shakespearean authorship and canonicity; the relationships among performance, script, actor’s part, and printed play; theories of authorial revision and memorial reconstruction; and the history of Shakespearean textual scholarship. Instead of a typical seminar paper, assignments will include: opening the discussion for one meeting; several research exercises; and a final mini-conference presentation, presenting avenues for further research.