E342 – Shakespeare I

Credit Hours:

Course Level:

Semesters Offered:
Fall Spring Summer

Prerequisite: Either E240 or E276.

Description: E342, Shakespeare I. The first of a two-course sequence, surveys Shakespeare’searly work through Hamlet.

E343, Shakespeare II. The second of a two-course sequence surveys Shakespeare’s production after Hamlet.

Shakespeare’s plays were in dialogue with the debates, anxieties, passions, and pragmatics beyond the walls of the theater in an era of rapid change and, for many of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, disruptive upheaval in the social order and cultural values. The course explores how different plays recast important issues in Shakespeare’s culture and elicit interpretations conditioned by an audience’s evolving cultural location. This course examines the plays from several angles: as dense poetic texts, as manifestations of notions about genre, as cultural productions conversing with the forces of history, and as scripts for performance. Shakespeare II does not require Shakespeare I as a prerequisite.