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Course Information from the University Catalog
Survey of selected histories and comedies.
Equivalent to ENGL 335 (2010-2011 Catalog)
Section Information from the Schedule of Classes for Spring 2012
Shakespeare: Comedies and Histories —
Robert I Matz
12:00 PM to 01:15 PM TR — Robinson A111
When we think of comedy we usually think of something funny--and Shakespeare's comedies definitely are. But comedy can also have serious political and cultural significance. In this course we'll consider both what's funny in the comedies (which were called comedies not primarily because they were funny, but because they have happy endings) and why the genre of comedy also bears more serious meaning. When we read Shakespeare's history plays--the plays we might expect to find serious--we'll discuss, among other questions, why Shakespeare decides to make some of his greatest history plays funny. More generally, we'll talk about the history of Shakespeare's stage and texts, life and politics in Shakespeare's England, and contemporary stagings of the plays. Throughout, the course will emphasize close reading of these great plays.