English 117A

Shakespeare


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2010 Arnold, Oliver
Arnold, Oliver
note new time: TTh 11-12:30 note new location: 3 LeConte

Other Readings and Media

This course will focus on the first half of Shakespeare's career.

Recommended: Greenblatt, S., ed.: The Norton Shakespeare (2nd edition)

If you already own a good single-volume edition of the plays (for example, The Riverside Shakespeare or The Arden Shakespeare), don’t feel at all obliged to buy The Norton Shakespeare.

Description

Shakespeare’s poems and plays are relentlessly unsettling, crazy beautiful, deeply moving, penetratingly intelligent, and compulsively meaningful: they complicate everything, they simplify nothing, and for 400 years, they have been a touchstone—indeed, something like an obsession—for literary artists from Milton to Goethe to George Eliot to Joyce to Brecht to Zukofsky to Sarah Kane and for philosophers and theorists from Hegel to Marx to Freud to Derrida to Lacan to Zizeck. We will be especially concerned with five large issues: compassion; political representation and its discontents; the nature of identity and subjectivity; colonialism; and the relation between the ways Shakespeare’s plays make meaning and the ways they produce emotional experience.


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