ENGLISH 467 - Topics in Shakespeare
Fall 2023, 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
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Prior course work in Shakespeare is recommended.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This is a course on the plays of William Shakespeare. As it is the four-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s 1623 Folio (the first collected edition of his plays), we will also consider how his plays were published and republished in the 1590s and the early 1600s. But our primary focus will be on learning how to read Shakespeare and how to situate his work in the fascinating context of early modern London and England. The plays we will read include the following: The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Measure for Measure, and The Tempest. Students will learn about the divine rights of kings, philosophical skepticism, the Protestant Reformation, European colonialism, how Shakespeare and his contemporaries approached social problems such as income inequality and poverty, and how early modern thinkers theorized race and sexuality. In that Shakespeare returns to these and other topics again and again, we will chart how his thinking evolves and shifts. We will also repeatedly reflect on the institution of marriage as it was understood in this period, the bonds that were thought to constitute friendship and family, and the broader questions of what it means to think historically and nationalistically as a writer.

This course satisfies the following CURRENT English major/minor requirement: Pre-1642, Pre-1830, Pre-1900, Poetry

This course satisfies the following NEW English major/minor requirements: Foundations & Methods: 300/400-level, Regions: Americas, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Time: Medieval/Early Modern, Time: 18th/19th Centuries

Course Requirements:

Two papers will be assigned, as well as a final project that will ask students to engage with Shakespeare's works in ways that interest them. There is no midterm in this course; neither is there a final exam.

Intended Audience:

This course is designed to be accessible to all undergraduate students at all levels, regardless of whether or not they have studied literature (or Shakespeare) before. Methods of literary analysis will be explained in class, including how to read early modern English texts.


ENGLISH 467 - Topics in Shakespeare
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

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