Spring 2017 Undergraduate English Courses: Renaissance
358:315 Shakespeare The Jacobean Plays
01 TTH4 CAC 12637 LEVAO AB-2400
The course is dedicated to eight major plays written across the second half of Shakespeare’s career. The brilliance and complexity of his earlier, Elizabethan works deepened in the Jacobean period, maintaining much of his ingenuity and exuberance while darkening their portrayal of psychological and ethical conflict. We will read a remarkable series of powerful tragedies together with some quirky but ambitious comedies—the so-called “problem comedies” and “late romances.” The order of our readings will be roughly chronological: Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.
There will be three examinations—two one-hour exams and a final—which will test specific knowledge about the readings as well as give you a chance to synthesize your understanding of the plays in essay questions. Students should expect to attend lectures regularly, raise questions thoughtfully, and attend office hours cheerfully.