ENGL 201
Shakespeare Fall 2019
Division I

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We’ve come to expect that the heroes of Shakespeare’s plays learn something. Misguided lovers are meant to be enlightened, and tragic heroes are supposed to achieve some kind of clarifying self-knowledge as a reward for their suffering. Supposedly, once the heroes’ flaws are revealed and their delusions are exposed, they come to understand what has happened to them and why. Or so we’d like to think. But the plays don’t always cooperate with our desire for a compensating enlightenment. We don’t always come away with a clear sense that Shakespeare’s heroes have arrived at true self-recognition; nor are we granted an obvious, edifying moral to compensate for the drama we’ve witnessed. What, then, should we look for at the end of a Shakespeare play? The plays we will read include As You Like It, Henry IV, Part 1, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 1706
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two 5-page papers, one 10-page paper, occasional short analytical exercises, class participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: English majors and prospective English majors
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories A

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