Spring 2021 Undergraduate English Courses: Renaissance

358:315 Shakespeare: The Later Plays

01   09273  LEVAO  MW  2:50-4:10

The course is dedicated to eight major plays written across the second half of Shakespeare’s career. The brilliance and complexity of his earlier, or 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. Background in Shakespeare’s earlier works is not expected or required.
Format is on-line lecture with time left for live questioning and discussion.

Grading is based on: three examinations, including two midterms (with an optional paper in place of the second midterm for those who earn a B+ or better on the first); a three-hour final; and regular attendance, with occasional quizzes if necessary.