An examination of representative Shakespearean works.
ENGL 322: Late Shakespeare
Instructor: Meredith Skura
Elizabethan and Jacobean England produced the greatest plays in English--perhaps in any language--and nurtured a theater more closely integrated into the life of its society than any we have known since. How did this happen? Why? What effect did it have? With these questions in mind, we will read a selection of Shakespeare’s later and greatest work, focusing on the plays written as he moved from the sixteenth to seventeenth century and from Elizabethan to Jacobean worlds. We will also look at the cultural context for the plays, examining topics like the actors and their playhouses, attitudes toward bodies, the status of women, the position of the poor, attitudes toward race and more.
Finally, we will look at two modern productions of the plays--seeing what happened to Shakespeare after he had written the plays, and at two of the earlier texts on which Shakespeare based his plays--seeing what was happening before Shakespeare wrote his plays. This course will satisfy the pre1800 requirement for English majors.