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Spring 2013 Course Descriptions

English 3802  Shakespeare (2 Sections)

Section 001       CRN 31627
Shakespeare    1230-1345 TR

Ben Jonson’s epitaph, memorializing Shakespeare as “not of an age but for all time” has proven prophetic. Recently, the Royal Shakespeare Company premiered Such Tweet Sorrow, an experimental five-week production of Romeo and Juliet performed via Twitter. Also not too long ago, the venerable Arden Shakespeare series officially welcomed an addition to the Bard’s canon entitled Double Falsehood. In short, with a “brand new” play out and a central role in the vanguard of alternative media performance, Shakespeare is alive and well in the 21st century. Focusing our inquiry on issues of desire and power, this course will read nine of Shakespeare’s plays, and their complexities of language demand rigor in reading, writing, and thinking. Other requirements include short papers, critical essays, participation in discussion, a midterm, and a final exam. (Group 3D)

Section 002       CRN 31628
Shakespeare    1800-2030 W

“All the world,” says serious Jaques in As You Like It, “’s a stage.” Shakespeare’s stages were many: the Theatre, the Curtain, the Globe, the Blackfriars, Gray’s Inn, the royal court. Upon their boards English men and boys dressed in the imagined garb of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Italy, Ionia, Illyria, Troy, Denmark, France, Bohemia, Austria, Cyprus, Antioch and Tyre, Navarre, Scotland, Wales, a desert island somewhere in the Mediterranean, and, yes, England. They played the parts of kings and queens, knights and gentlemen, merchants and craftsmen, clergymen and clerks, philosophers and teachers, sheriffs and aldermen, apothecaries and nurses, soldiers and sailors, servants and laborers, mothers and daughters, wives and mistresses, barkeeps, lovers, eunuchs, witches, fairies, grave diggers, actors, wrestlers, musicians, clowns, and perhaps, once, a bear. In this course, we will step softly into this world of Shakespeare’s creation, often laughing, occasionally weeping, and always pondering as we witness the edge of his poetry and the magic of his imagination. Expect to read nine or ten plays.

Requirements include two or three exams, a short paper, a substantial researched paper, avid reading, and a willingness, nay eagerness to discuss. (Group 3D)