ENGL 320
Marlowe and Shakespeare Spring 2020
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed ENGL 320 / THEA 320

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In 1586, at the age of twenty-three, Christopher Marlowe wrote Tamburlaine the Great . Over the next six years-probably while moonlighting as a government spy-he went on to produce some of the strangest and also most influential works of English drama. Then in 1593, Marlowe was murdered, stabbed through the eye in a tavern brawl. It is often said that Marlowe’s early death, no less than his early success, made the work of Shakespeare possible. In this class we will read Marlowe’s Edward II , the first popular history play in English, and Shakespeare’s Richard II ; The Jew of Malta and The Merchant of Venice ; Doctor Faustus and Macbeth . We will look at ways in which Marlovian preoccupations-with lurid violence, with debasement, with self-invention-resurface in Shakespeare, in new forms. In the process we will also take up more general questions of literary influence: What do writers borrow from each other? And how does the knowledge of indebtedness-shared to varying degrees with an audience-affect the meaning and impact of their work? Critical readings will include essays by Harry Levin, Julia Lupton and Stephen Greenblatt.
The Class: Type: Seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 3749
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two 5- to 7-page papers; a ten page final paper
Prerequisites: 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preferences: English majors
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 320 Division I THEA 320 Division I
WS Notes: Two 5- to 7-page papers. A 10-page final paper. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories A

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