E 359 • English Drama from 1660 to 1900
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
In this course we will read plays written and produced in England between 1660 and the early 20th century. The theater reflects and helps create the culture of its time to an unusual degree. So we will examine the plays on the reading list with an eye to several matters: the political and historical contexts in which the plays appeared; the regulation of the stage and the publication practices of playwrights; questions of staging--e.g., acting, scene design, and costuming; and the belletristic qualities (or lack thereof) of the plays themselves. In an effort to think about the plays as more than purely literary documents, we will read portions of scenes from many of them in class and discuss at length the larger question of what it means to "read" a play.
Two short scene readings, 2-3 pages, one on each scene for which you lead discussion. Further information about these papers will be given in class 5% each
One short review of a critical essay on one of the plays you've read 15%
One research paper, 10-15 pages 25%
Two tests on material covered in class 30%
Participation in class discussions 20%
Note 1: You must complete all the above assignments in order to pass the course.
Note 2: No Q drops will be given past the normal drop deadline without a well-substantiated non-academic excuse.
British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan, ed. G. H. Nettleton and A. E. Case, SIU Press
The Plays of Oscar Wilde, ed. John Lahr, Vintage edition
Bernard Shaw's Plays, ed. Warren S. Smith, Norton edition
Speedway packet, containing material by Dryden, Wycherley, Jerrold, Bulwer-Lytton, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Pinero