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Topics in Shakespeare

ENGL 235.301
W 2-5

More and more, Shakespeare scholars tell us that "Shakespeare wrote for the stage, not for the page." But what does this mean for students of his plays? How are we meant to respond to this information? In this seminar we will be considering the rise of performance criticism as a method for studying Shakespeare's plays. We'll look at a variety of forms of performance criticism--including the search for Renaissance theatrical conditions, post-Renaissance stage histories and actors' training for the performance of Shakespeare--in order to consider what performance criticism has to offer us. We'll read a number of different Shakespeare plays along with a variety of texts about performance criticism, and we'll view some local Shakespeare productions and/or films. Students will be expected to prepare in-class reports, to post responses to the reading on the course listserv, to write drafts of 3 5-page papers during the semester and to prepare a final portfolio of two 10-page papers.