Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University
01 TF3 CAC 13297 LEVAO SC-207
A heightened, sometimes uncanny, intimacy between characters is a repeated motif in Shakespeare, one that exhibits a variety of bonding—between members of the opposite sex, or members of same sex, or even between the living and the dead; between family members as well as those linked by voluntary forms of association; between couples but also larger groupings: triads, tetrads, and social groups. This course will be devoted to reading a selection of Shakespearean plays and poems that demonstrate this interest. This is, of course, pretty much a blank check: rarely is Shakespeare not interested in this topic, but general preference (with two exceptions) will be shown for works not covered in the Shakespeare lecture sequence 314 – 315. Readings will probably include The Sonnets, The Comedy of Errors, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Timon of Athens, and The Winter’s Tale. We will also read some classical and early-modern philosophy and literature—Plato, Aristotle, Ovid, Montaigne, Elyot—that influenced and/or illuminate Shakespeare, as well as selections of contemporary literary criticism.
Requirements include regular attendance, class discussion, a few short response papers, one mid-length paper (5-6 pages), and one longer essay (10-12 pages).