Hamlet has been described as “literature’s great bazaar: everything available, all warranted and trademarked”—- a comparison that emphasizes both the transcendent richness of Shakespeare’s language and its ties to the world at large. In this course, we will read some of Shakespeare’s major works and explore how his consummate artistry makes meaning. We will consider this artistry in relation to Renaissance conceptions of genre, literary imitation, theatrical practice, publication, and more. Plays will likely include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, Part 1, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest. We will also read the Sonnets. This course is designed to offer a first encounter with Shakespeare, but more advanced students are welcome too.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: one 3-page paper, one 7-paper, occasional short analytical exercises, midterm exam, final exam, class participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Enrollment Preference: English majors and prospective English majors
Distributions: Division I;
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories A