ENGL 339 A2: Early Modern Literature and Culture: Studies in Shakespeare

C. Sale

It is challenging to study Shakespeare's dramatic work in a single-semester course - he wrote so many plays, and we have so little time! We will tackle this challenge by studying three plays in depth - The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Tempest - and then the 'festive' comedy As You Like It and the late Roman tragedy Coriolanus. The plays selected will allow us to delve into Shakespeare's representations of power, law, race, class, sexuality, gender identity, and colonialism as well as important aesthetic and social questions. As a set they will permit students to consider the full range of Shakespeare's generic experimentation in drama in his twenty years of writing for the public stage. Assignments will assist students in building skills in close-reading, effective argumentation, oral presentation, and research.

It is strongly recommended that students have already taken at least one English course at the 200-level before embarking on this course.