English 117T

Shakespeare in the Theater: Cymbeline

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2018 Marno, David
Lectures MWF 2-3 in 310 Hearst Mining, plus rehearsals MW 3-4:30 in 300 Wheeler


Imagine that the play is an exquisite silk dress. In lectures, we look at it from many different angles; we consider the materials it’s made of; we imagine who made it and why; we listen to the sounds it makes as it moves. If you ever felt intrigued by the thought of what it would feel like to put it on, this is a class for you. During the semester, we will not only close read, analyze and interpret one of Shakespeare’s strangest plays, Cymbeline, King of Britain, we will also have an opportunity to perform our own version of it.

To be sure, this is a literature class, and our purpose isn’t to stage the finest ever version of the play, but to use performance as one more tool that will help us understand Shakespeare’s text. In addition to the play, we will read some of its textual sources, critical essays on Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, some performance theory, and we will also watch theatrical and film adaptations of various Shakespeare plays. No previous acting experience required.

Required book: William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine. Additional readings will be posted on bCourses and/or distributed in class.

NOTE:  Students should plan to attend, in addition to the lectures, the twice-weekly rehearsals, which will take place MW 3-4:30 in 300 Wheeler. Some additional rehearsals may also be needed as the performance date approaches.

NOTE ALSO:  Because this course concentrates on one play only, it will not satisfy the Shakespeare requirement for English majors.

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