English 114A

English Drama to 1603

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2010 Miller, Jennifer
Miller, Jennifer
TTh 9:30-11 210 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

The materials for this course will be available in photocopied readers.


Focusing primarily on civic performances of the late fourteenth century, especially the Chester cycle plays, which survive to us in sixteenth-century transcriptions, this course aims to recontextualize the "new" productions of Shakespeare and Marlowe, for instance, in a long and self-conscious tradition of stage incarnation in England, a tradition to which Renaissance dramatists were minutely and radically responding.  The course will also consider the extent to which this response may be inflecting the surviving records of dramatic performance in earlier England, constraining our access to a distinctly medieval articulation of dramatic possibility and purpose.  Of particular interest will be the ethics of impersonation, the suspension of (dis)belief, and ways in which the cypher of English Jewry (the Jews were expelled from England in 1290) was obsessively encoded throughout the period as a means of meditating on the dangerous, and miraculous, potentialities of drama's absent palpabilities.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

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