ENGL 345
Shakespeare on Page, Stage and Screen: Text to Performance Fall 2024
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed THEA 340 / COMP 343

Class Details

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 texts 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. 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 read six plays, of different genres and written at different periods of Shakespeare’s career. These will likely be Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Close reading of the texts will be the priority, but we will also attend to the demands and opportunities of performance, and assess a range of recent film and stage productions.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 18
Expected: 18
Class#: 1229
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Three papers ranging from 4 to 7 pages; regular Glow posts; class participation.
Prerequisites: A THEA course; a 100-level ENGL course; a score of 5 on the AP Literature exam or a 6 or 7 on the IB exam; or permission of instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: Theatre and English majors or prospective majors
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 345 Division I THEA 340 Division I COMP 343 Division I
WS Notes: Three papers rising from 4 to 6+ pages; regular discussion board postings and several short response papers. Students will receive substantive feedback on their writing , and there will be opportunities for revision.
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories A

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