ENGLISH 367 - Shakespeare's Principal Plays
Winter 2020, Section 001 - The Plays of William Shakespeare
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course will examine the dramaturgy of William Shakespeare, beginning early in his career with The Comedy of Errors and ending with The Tempest. Lectures will typically pair each play with a larger set of questions meant to submerge that work within its cultural, and intellectual, surround. Thus, Romeo and Juliet will be presented in relation to the early modern period's fascination with the Neoplatonic theory of love, while Twelfth Night will be assessed with Renaissance theories of sex and gender in mind. Other topics with which we will engage will include philosophical skepticism (Hamlet and Othello) and notions of political absolutism (Macbeth and King Lear). In that Shakespeare routinely returns to certain topics again and again, we too will circle around these issues, including the institution of marriage, the bonds that constitute friendship and family, and the broader questions of what it means to think historically and nationalistically as a writer.

In this course, students will therefore learn a lot about the world in which Shakespeare lived. But more importantly, students will learn to read Shakespeare—to weigh his metaphors, to study how he develops characters, and to see how he builds upon, and expands, his artistic repertoire during his remarkable career.

In an attempt to appreciate the interpretive possibilities opened up by Shakespearean drama (and also because it is fun), we will regularly view scenes from modern, cinematic adaptations of the plays we read. Discussion sections will be devoted to close-reading exercises and to the consideration of any number of thematic and interpretive issues not touched upon in lecture.

Only one book will be required: The Norton Shakespeare: Second Edition.

Class Format:

Lectures with sections


ENGLISH 367 - Shakespeare's Principal Plays
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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