Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

01   MTH3   CAC   16862   BARTELS   MU-210

Why read Shakespeare? What's Shakespeare to you or you to Shakespeare? This course will help you find out, providing an in-depth exploration of some of Shakespeare's greatest hits (such plays as Richard III, Henry IV, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, The Tempest) and of their relevance to us. We will look at how character, language, gesture, structure, performance, and history come together in or through the plays and raise pressing social and political issues, not only for Shakespeare's time but also for our own. We will investigate the makings of power, law, militarism and terror, justice and revenge, ability and disability, gender and sexuality, race and nation. And we will look beyond ourselves to the troubled representation of the early modern self, trying to see what the differences tell us about who and how we are. Students will be expected to participate in the class—in homework and performance exercises, group projects, discussion—and to help shape the learning process. Major requirements will include one creative project and a comprehensive final exam.

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Statue of "Willie the Silent"