This course will follow Shakespeare’s career as a dramatist from the point he reached the height of his dramatic powers until his
retirement from the theatre: from Hamlet to The Tempest, then.
The thematic focus of discussion will be Shakespeare’s representation of
family relations, and, more particularly, his insistent representation of
the forces of eros and eris—desire and revenge.
Plays we shall read will include one very problemmatic “comedy” Measure for Measure; the great tragedies Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra,; one “Roman” play, Coriolanus; and two “romances,” The Winter’s Tale and the consummately rich The Tempest.
For those who have not had a chance to study Shakespeare’s early career, and especially for those for whom this course must be their only (shudder!) college course devoted to Shakespeare, I will offer optional additional lectures on one history play and one earlier comedy.
Consistent presence at lecture and section meeting; lively
engagement in discussion, two essays (around 6 pp. each), a midterm and a final examination.