E 366K • Shakespeare: Selected Tragedies
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
This course will focus on Hamlet. We'll spend our time roughly the following way (though not in this order):
(1) One-two weeks on the 1601 First Quarto text
(2) Five weeks on the 1623 Folio text
Other centers of interest:
(3) Works that inspired Shakespeare's play
The Renaissance translation of Seneca's Thyestes
Machiavelli's The Prince
Kyd's Spanish Tragedy
(4) Those of Shakespeare's tragedies that intersect most actively with Hamlet
(5) Major contemporary plays that actively derive from Hamlet
The Revenger's Tragedy
The Duchess of Malfi
(6) Conceptual materials central to a modern understanding of the play
Regicide and treason materials; resistance theory (Ponet)
Religion, ghosts, Catholicism/Protestantism, Purgatory
Incest (Freud, Jones, Henry VIII)
(1) Memos. There will be a number (4-6) of three-page typed exercises called "memos" (you can omit or drop one) on assigned topics dealing with issues raised in the lectures and discussions. Together they'll be worth 90% of your overall grade.
(2) Participation (10% of the overall grade).
(3) Attendance. Regular attendance is expected. Four unexcused absences will cost you a one-grade-point final grade penalty; eight or more such absences will result in your failing the course. Records will be kept by sign-in sheet.