Although Shakespeare's plays are usually studied as high canonical literature, they were originally written as playscripts, designed for the entertainment of a disorderly, socially heterogeneous crowd and the financial profit of the players. This course will attempt to resituate the plays in their original theatrical setting. We will read a representative selection of plays (to be chosen by the students at the first class meeting) There will be one or two hour-exams, one or two short papers, and a final exam. In addition, students are expected to meet outside of class to read the plays aloud, taking parts. Students who are not Benjamin Franklin Scholars will be admitted with the instructor's permission.