Shakespeare's plays were originally written in the context of a thriving commercial theatrical industry. In order to get some idea of the richness and variety of its productions, we will read a few Shakespearean plays along with representative samples of the work of other Renaissance English playwrights who brought strikingly different perspectives to similar subjects. Shakespeare's Macbeth, for instance, will be studied with Thomas Heywood's Wise Woman of Hogsdon, a comedy in which the reputed witch is actually a benevolent charlatan; Twelfth Night will be paired with John Webster's Duchess of Malfi, a tragedy in which the steward, unlike Malvolio, is the play's hero and marries the lady; and Henry V will be paired with Thomas Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday which shows the impact of the king's French war on common people back in England. Other plays to be studied include The Witch of Edmonton, The Roaring Girl and Epicoene. There will be a midterm, a term paper, and a final examination. This course is designed for students who have already had an introductory Shakespeare course. Students who are not Benjamin Franklin Scholars will be admitted with the instructor's permission.