Introduction to Shakespeare

L220 — Fall 2019

Days and Times
2:30 - 3:45p TR (3 CR)
Course Description

Instructor: Ray Smith

Ever wonder where the phras­es “all that glitters is not gold,” “bag and baggage,” “nei­ther a borrower or a lender be,” “give the devil his due,” “melted into thin air,” “one fell swoop,” came from?  These are all found in the works of Shakespeare. Introduction to Shakespeare involves a rap­id reading of about a dozen plays, mostly comedies and tragedies.  Some of the plays will have been read in high school; we will be treating dra­mas that most scholars con­sider among Shakespeare’s greatest creations. We will examine the plays as works of literature and cultural artifacts. Students write 5-8 short “first passes,” one-page essays in which we take on an issue to be discussed in the next class; students will be invited to take part in those discussions; there is a mid-term and a final. Non-majors and majors report that they find the course engaging—after all, it’s the greatest dramatist writing in English, and familiarity with his work is generally essential to being considered an educated person.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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