E 366K • Shakespeare: Selected Tragedies
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
We will study seven tragedies by Shakespeare. Through a careful reading of the language, stagecraft, and setting of these texts, we will attempt to acquire a deep understanding of tragic art.
We will employ psychological, theatrical, historical, and symbolic approaches. Despite the depressing theme of the course, we will try to enjoy ourselves while we work. To that end, and in order to put your knowledge to practical and entertaining use, you will, once a week or so, perform scenes from each play.
Your responsibility for the first day that a work is discussed is to have read at least the first two acts, unless otherwise indicated on the syllabus. You should also read the critical introductions to each work, although you may find these more useful once you have finished the play. I recommend that you receive as much exposure to the dramas as possible: through videotapes, recording, and local performances, when you can. All plays must be read twice.
Requirements: Attendance; four 5-page papers, with occasional diagnostic quizzes on matters of vocabulary and plot; participation (either directing or acting) in at least one scene from the play; and a take-home final exam.
Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra