English 217


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2014 Arnold, Oliver
M 3-6 108 Wheeler

Book List

Shakespeare, W,: Titus Andronicus and Timon of Athens; Shakespeare, W.: Antony and Cleopatra; Shakespeare, W.: Coriolanus; Shakespeare, W.: Four Great Tragedies; Shakespeare, W.: Henry IV, Part 1; Shakespeare, W.: Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3; Shakespeare, W.: Julius Caeser; Shakespeare, W.: Measure for Measure; Shakespeare, W.: The Merchant of Venice; Shakespeare, W.: The Tempest


Instead of pursuing a master problematic, we will take up a wide range of issues: when I read Shakespeare these days, I am interested in his representations of citizenship, compassion, artificial persons (political representatives, diplomats, surrogates, actors), poverty, the Roman Republic, false consciousness, and slavery; and I expect that other participants will bring many more concerns to the table. This capacious approach will allow us to take full advantage of Shakespeare's unique importance to the evolution of literary criticism and to the philosophy of art. If Shakespeare studies have in recent decades been most closely associated with the new historicism, the plays and sonnets have been a touchstone for almost every kind of literary criticism (Marxist, psychoanalytic, deconstructionist, postcolonial, feminist, and on and on). We will read seminal articles by Cixous, Derrida, Lacan, Greenblatt, C.L.R. James, Pat Parker, and others. We will also spend some time with the many major philosophers, theorists, and artists--among others, Hegel, Schlegel, Marx, and Freud--who make Shakespeare the cornerstone of a post-classical, modern theory of art and society.

This course satisfies the Shakespeare requirement (for English Ph.D. students).

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