We will study five representative plays from the first part of Shakespeare's career, often in conjunction with film adaptations of the works. The five plays are The Taming of the Shrew, Richard II, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and Hamlet. Students are expected to read each play at least twice. The mid-term and exam will expect high familiarity with the plays. Lectures will not proceed in narrative order through the individual plays but will discuss dominant themes and issues addressed by each play in its entirety. A short paper and a longer extension of that paper will allow students to hone their critical writing skills. Individual sections will require students to attend regularly and contribute to the class discussions.
In addition to the lecture and discussion sections led by TAs, there will be an Honors Section led by the professor of the course. It will be held on Thursdays, 12:30-1:20 in SH 2510 (The Early Modern Center).