English 117A

Upper Division Coursework: Shakespeare

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2005 Koory, Mary Ann
TTh 2-3:30 105 North Gate

Other Readings and Media

Maus, K. E., ed.: Four Revenge Tragedies; Steane, J. B. ed.: Complete Plays by Christopher Marlowe; Greenblatt, S. J., ed.: The Norton Shakespeare; course reader


"We'll read six plays from the chronological first half of Shakespeare's output, considered loosely to allow us to end with a reading of Hamlet. Our approach will be to consider Shakespeare's plays as they shaped and were shaped by a lively theatrical tradition, in the context of which we will read The Spanish Tragedy, by Thomas Kyd, and Tamburlaine, by Christopher Marlowe. (That makes a total of 8 Elizabethan plays.) We'll also examine some of the historical and social issues put into ""play"" in the plays, including issues of the representation of subjectivity, gender, personal ambition, revenge, and the relationship of the stage (as a reflection, metaphor, microcosm, map, experiment) to the political, social and religious world which surrounds it. Further, we'll be conscious of Shakespeare as a cultural icon, specifically our critical sense that the chronological order of his plays represents a progression away from the very plays and poems that we'll spend most of the semester reading. Reading list: The following plays by Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Midsummer Night's Dream, 1 Henry IV, Hamlet, plus The Spanish Tragedy (Thomas Kyd) and Tamburlaine (Christopher Marlowe). "

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