Introduction to Shakespeare

L220 — Spring 2020

Days and Times
9:30-12:00 MW
Course Description

Our focus in this class will be on the plays as literary and cultural artifacts and as the result of artistic choices; we will spend less time studying the production of these plays, except insofar as their production reveals the culture in which they were first viewed. In other words, our emphasis will be on the page, not the stage. By the end of the class, you should be able to: 1) read and understand a Shakespeare play independently; 2) be familiar with some of the major issues in the study of Shakespeare; 3) construct and defend your own argument concerning many of those major questions; 4) appreciate Shakespeare and his work in the context of his culture and the English Renaissance theatre. We will spend roughly half our time in the comedies and half our time in the histories and tragedies.