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Early Shakespeare
English 105A, Fall 2008, Patricia Fumerton


We will study five representative plays from the first part of Shakespeare's career, often in conjunction with film adapations 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 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, 3:30-420 in SH 2510.

This Shakespeare class is one of a large number of offerings by the English Department's faculty in the early modern period (1500-1800). Students taking early modern classes are encouraged to drop by the Early Modern Center (SH 2510) and use its facilities during its open hours (facilities include a small research library and eight computers with access to the latest databases in early modern studies). A graduate student TA (The Early Modern Center Fellow), Catherine Zutsky, will be available to help you with any questions or problems you might have operating the equipment. The Center will be open for several hours every day. Hours are as follows:





Students interested in English literature 1500-1800 are also encouraged to make a specialization of Early Modern Studies. The English Department currently offers four specializations within the English major, including Early Modern Studies. Students qualify for an EMS specialization when they take four elective courses in English or American literature covering all or part of the period 1500-1800. For more information see Early Modern Studies. If you are interested in signing up for the specialization, please fill out the one-page form with the Department's Acting Undergraduate Advisor, Susan Gosling . Also, if you are interested in being included in the online mailings for undergraduate early modern studies (emus), please contact Catherine Zusky at catzusky@gmail.com.

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