BLS 347: Shakespeare Off the Page
William Shakespeare’s plays are among the most widely read, studied, analyzed, anthologized, and criticized works in all of literature. His plays have been performed on stages around the globe for four hundred years without going out of fashion. Why Shakespeare? This course will examine the universality of human behavior depicted in Shakespeare’s stories, his understanding of the human psyche demonstrated by his complex characters, his contribution to modern language and rhetoric, the historical and cultural contexts in which each play was written, and the appeal of his works today. This course will examine Shakespeare’s plays including a history (Richard III), tragedies (Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet), and comedies (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, and The Taming of the Shrew) and analyze each play not only as a work of literature but primarily as a blueprint for the production of film and live theatre. Students will examine the performance considerations of each play and explore how Shakespeare’s ideas can be interpreted for modern audiences.
The Complete Pelican Shakespeare. Penguin, 2002. ISBN 0141000589