English 117A

Shakespeare


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2011 Marno, David
Marno, David
TTh 2-3:30 2 le Conte

Other Readings and Media

The Norton Shakespeare (ed. S. Greenblatt)

Description

This class focuses on Shakespeare's early career and works, that is, on the "Elizabethan" Shakespeare. We'll be reading a very limited number of plays and some poetry. One of the main issues I'd like to focus on is the oscillation between "regular" and "irregular." What is the rule, and what is the exception in Shakespeare's works? How is a comedy supposed to end? How does it end? What makes a tragic hero? Is Hamlet a tragic hero? What are the rules of theater? What are the rules of literature? Who creates them and why? When do they get transgressed, and why? A tentative list of the plays includes Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Richard III, 1 Henry IV, Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Merchant of Venice. We'll also read some of the sonnets and a longer poem, Venus and Adonis. There will be a midterm and a final paper; no exam but we'll conclude one class every week with a brief response paper to the lectures.


Back to Semester List