E 376L • Shakespeares Comedies and Romances- Honors
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
We will give special attention to the mythos, structure, action, characterization, and themes of comedy, while examining the variety of Shakespeare's comedic approaches to human problems (loss, dislocation, alienation) and the special ways personae are brought to or toward self-discovery.
Shakespeare's romances explore the comedic elements in a very different way, challenging us with different systems of belief, asking us to accept immediately, through faith, the witness of miracle and grace, the world of possibility. The dead do live. Statues come to life.
We will approach Shakespeares texts as scripts written for performance. Students should be prepared not only for frequent in-class reading performances of scenes but also for active participation in a final performance project requiring memorization of lines and rehearsals. We will also, from time to time, examine film versions of the plays. Our close, critical reading of the script (both for class and in class) will hopefully open up the various possibilities of interpreting the play experiences. Attendance, preparation for class, and energetic contribution to discussion and performance are absolutely necessary.
Class work 30%
The Norton Shakespeare: Comedies
The Norton Shakespeare: Romances and Poems
Plays: A Midsummer Nights Dream, Loves Labours Lost, Pericles, As You Like It, Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, The Winters Tale, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest