MEMS 367 - Shakespeare's Principal Plays
Section: 101
Term: SP 2009
Subject: Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
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Class Misc Info:
This course will meet the Pre1600 program requirement for the English major.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course will examine the dramaturgy of William Shakespeare, beginning early in his career with Romeo and Juliet and ending with Macbeth. Classes will pair each play with a larger set of questions meant to submerge Shakespeare's works within their cultural, and intellectual, surrounds. Thus, Romeo and Juliet will be read in relation to the early modern period's fascination with the Neoplatonic theory of love, while Henry V will be assessed in light of relevant political theories of absolutism. Other topics with which we will engage will include the Renaissance concept of the patriarchal family (King Lear), anti-Semitism and cruelty (The Merchant of Venice), Renaissance gender theory (Twelfth Night), philosophical skepticism (Hamlet), and the period's obsession with social class (1 Henry IV).

More broadly, we will also explore what constitutes the generic differences between Shakespearean comedies, tragedies, and histories, and what it was like to see a play performed in early modern London. In an attempt to appreciate the interpretive possibilities opened up by Shakespearean drama, we will also view scenes from modern, cinematic adaptations of the plays we read. Our time will also be devoted to close-reading exercises, all in an attempt to appreciate and understand the achievements of one of the most remarkable writers in world history.

MEMS 367 - Shakespeare's Principal Plays
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
MWF 1:00PM - 3:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780393111354
The Norton Shakespeare, Author: Stephen Greenblatt, general editor ; Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard, Katharine Eisaman Maus [editors] ; with an essay on the Shakespearean stage by Andrew Gurr., Publisher: W.W. Norton 2nd ed. 2008
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