MEMS 314 - The Figure of Rome in Shakespeare and 16th-Century Painting
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

What did ancient Rome mean to Shakespeare? How did he interpret the colorful and violent history of that fascinating period? In this course, we will examine four of Shakespeare’s plays, Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Cymbeline. We will read a selection of Shakespeare’s sources, especially the historian Plutarch, to figure out how the playwright transformed his source material into works of art that speak to the political issues of his own time. Because this is an interdisciplinary course, we will explore the work of three renaissance painters, Mantegna, Titian and Caravaggio, in order to compare their understanding of ancient Rome with that of Shakespeare. We will complete our study by inquiring how (and why) renaissance artists, historians, and antiquarians began to construct a pre-Roman paganism. What sources did they use to discover a past much older than that of Rome? Was there a political or cultural motive behind this construction?

MEMS 314 - The Figure of Rome in Shakespeare and 16th-Century Painting
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:00PM - 3:30PM
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