English R1A

Reading and Composition: Shakespeare's Problem Plays and Romances

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2004 drienne Williams Boyarin
MWF 1-2 221 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Bawcutt, N., ed.: Measure for Measure

Bevington, D., ed.: Shakespeare: The Late Romances

Crewe, J., ed.: Troilus and Cressida

Marsh, N.: Shakespeare: Three Problem Plays

Snyder, S., ed.: All's Well that Ends Well"


In this course, we will read seven of Shakespeare's later plays, three of them often called the problem plays and four usually lumped together as the romances.Together, these constitute some of Shakespeare's most difficult, painful, and uncategorizable work. All betray a tragi-comic view of man, play with ideas of class and nobility and familial relationships, and deeply challenge our moral bearings by combining absurdly horrific betrayals with miraculous happy endings. We will spend about two weeks on each play, and you will write a series of close readings and short argumentative papers that will be frequently subject to peer editing and revision. You will constantly use and improve your practical writing skills.

Back to Semester List