This course will introduce students to the forms and functions of drama in medieval and Renaissance England. We will read plays of various genres that take us into worlds largely foreign to modern readers-—worlds constituted not only by the plays’ fictional settings but also by the stages on which these plays were performed. We will trace changes in what audiences wanted to see and what dramatists believed theater should do. At the same time, we will focus on themes that pervade English drama from the Middle Ages to the Revolution, including religious, racial, and national difference; legal and illegal forms of violence; and gender and sexuality. Readings will likely include medieval morality, Corpus Christi, and Robin Hood plays, and plays by Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Heywood. Requirements include: regular attendance and class participation, two medium-length papers, a mid-term, and a final.