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Drama from 1660 to 1840

ENGL 046.001
MW 6-7:30

A lot happens on the British stage between Shakespeare and Shaw. Innovations in theater architecture, special effects, and acting styles -- along with changing aesthetic tastes and political moods -- prompt the reinvention of the national dramatic tradition. In this course we will examine a range of dramatic forms, including comedies from the wry to the rambunctious; tragedies from depressing to didactic; and everything in between. We will consider the impact of the professional actress and the transformation of Shakespearean works into pieces 18th- and 19th-century sensibilities found more suitable, including the notorious happy-ending adaptation of King Lear. We also will take the opportunity to enliven these texts by reading aloud and acting out.  Grading will be based on one short close-reading paper and one longer research paper, final exam, and robust participation.