ENGL 270
Shakespeare on Page, Stage and Screen: Text to Performance Fall 2016 Division I; Writing-Intensive; Cross-listed as COMP290 / ENGL270 / THEA260
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Four centuries on, Shakespeare still challenges us. How should we weigh the respective claims of our own era’s concerns–with matters of gender, sexuality, race, class, or materiality, for instance-against historicist attention to the cultural, political and theatrical circumstances in which his plays were actually written? And when it comes to realizing the text in dramatic performance, such challenges–and opportunities–multiply further. Critical fidelity to Shakespeare’s times, language and theatrical milieu prioritizes a historical authenticity that can be constraining or even sterilizing, while, at the other extreme, staging the plays with the primary aim of making them “speak to our times” risks revisionary absorption in our own interests. We will focus on six Shakespeare plays, from different genres and periods of his career: Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Proceeding with each from close reading of the text, we will attend to the demands and opportunities of performance, and assess a range of recent film and stage productions.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1993
Requirements/Evaluation: based on class participation, several short reading responses, and two longer papers
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Theatre and English majors, and prospective majors
Distributions: Division I; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories A;

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