English 217

Graduate Course: Shakespeare

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2006 Landreth, David
Landreth, David
TTh 12:30-2 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

The Riverside Shakespeare


"This class is an introduction to the criticism of Shakespeare at the graduate level. I've decided to perform that introduction this semester through following the development of Shakespeare criticism into a professional practice, tracing the reception history of the plays since their first performances. I'm particularly interested in how the amateur project of judging the plays aesthetically has apparently vanished in the canonization of Shakespeare at the summit of the English curriculum, yet tacitly recurs in the marginalization of about a third of Shakespeare's plays from the canon of critical study--plays which may have enjoyed theatrical and critical enthusiasm in the past. We'll be focusing on some plays that have generated the widest range of critical debate over the centuries--Merchant, Lear, et al--, as well as on some other plays that have met with the most deafening of recent critical silences, such as Merry Wives and King John. Each member of the class will be responsible for a particular play, and will present its critical fortunes to the group.

I have ordered the Riverside Shakespeare at the bookstore. You may use any scholarly edition of each play, however, as convenient to you (�scholarly�= has annotations and an introduction, and says who edited the text). We will refer to the original printings in on-line facsimile as well. "

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