This course introduces students to the life and work of one of the world's great playwrights. One reason for William Shakespeare's ongoing popularity is the way that his plays ask the big questions: What does it mean to be a person? What is desire? What is the nature of evil? From where does political authority derive? And what are the limits of political power? What is the nature of human community? What is the power of art? Such questions, among many others, make Shakespeare's plays compelling and worthy of our attention, despite the fact that they were written several hundred years ago. This course seeks to develop a basic understanding of how Shakespeare's plays work, how they are put together, and the kinds of social and political questions each play raises in its effort to create powerful theatrical experiences. We will read important examples of each of Shakespeare's genres: history, comedy, tragedy, and romance. Class lectures and discussion sections will strive to develop students' ability to read and recognize the power of Shakespeare's art. For those with some knowledge of Shakespeare's work, this course will provide an opportunity to enrich your understanding of his life and plays. For those relatively new to-or intimidated by-Shakespearean drama, the course is designed to help you develop the tools to grasp and engage with some of the most important works of English literature.
Note: You can take this course in one of two different ways! There are two versions of this course-100 and 200. ENGL 3000-100 is an
in person lecture. ENGL 3000-200 is an online version of the course, in which students watch recorded lectures at their convenience. Both versions require students to attend a discussion section.