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COURSE TITLE: Shakespeare: Text and Performance
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 2 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores issues of textuality and performance in Shakespeare's canon. It combines a detailed study of the plays themselves with an examination of representative film versions. The course centres on a literary analysis of the text while it also explores the historical context out of which the dramas emerged and contemporary scholarly issues that arise in both text and performance.

Same as DRAM 320.

Prerequisites: ENGL 215
  • Bevington, David.  The Complete Shakespeare. 7 th  Edition. 
Lab Attendance5%
Scene Analysis15%
Context and Issues Paper/Presentation15%
Term Paper30%
Final Exam25%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:This is a course on Shakespeare’ plays, both the texts and their interpretation in film.  In this iteration of the course, we will focus on some of the lesser known plays, both earlier ones and later ones, in order to broaden our exposure to the Shakespeare canon and to gain an appreciation for the ways Shakespeare’s literary art developed over his career. 

This term we will study a collection of 7 plays.  We will read at least one work from each of the four genres of drama: comedy, history, tragedy and romance, and we will assess each of the plays against generic standards developed for each form. Please note that we will usually spend four classes on each of the plays we will tackle this term.  You are expected to have read the complete play before we begin discussion in the first class, so please ensure that you allocate several hours per week for reading the plays.  

In the first of our classes we will focus on the action of the play and produce an analysis of one of the central scenes.  In the subsequent classes we will identify and discuss the major themes and points of scholarly contention.   Each Friday afternoon we will watch and discuss a film version.   All classes are mandatory, including the Friday afternoon lab.

Specific Learning Outcomes Include:
  • Knowledge of the textual issues that surround the Shakespearean plays and a working familiarity with both the Folio versions and the edited copies available in the Bevington edition.
  • Awareness of the relationships between the text and film adaptations and performances of the plays.  
  • Awareness of the issues in Shakespeare’s biography, what is known and what can never be known for certain about his life, relationships, influences and art.
  • Understanding of the social, cultural and political circumstances from which the plays emerge.
  • Breadth of exposure to the Shakespeare cannon.
  • Deepening of senior level academic writing skills, including the development of a thesis, research, planning and execution of a well-structured, clearly written term paper.
  • January
    • 4  Introduction
    • 9     Richard III
    • 11   Richard III 
    • 12   Film: Richard III/ McKellen
    • 16   Richard III 
    • 18   Richard III 
    • 19   Film: Henry V/ BBC
    • 23   Henry V
    • 25   IS Conference
    • 26   Film: Henry V, Branagh
  • Jan/February
    • 30   Henry V 
    • 1     Henry V 
    • 2     Film: Comedy of Errors: Globe on Screen
    • 6    Comedy of Errors
    • 8    Comedy of Errors
    • 9    Film: Merchant of Venice BBC
    • 13   Merchant of Venice
    • 15   Merchant of Venice
    • 16   Film: Merchant of Venice/ Al Pacino
    • 20   Reading Week
    • 22   No Class
    • 23   No Class
  • February/ March
    • 27   Merchant of Venice
    • 1   Merchant of Venice
    • 2   Film: Titus Andronicus: Globe on Screen
    • 6    Titus
    • 8    Titus
    • 9    Film: Titus Andronicus/ Anthony Hopkins
    • 13   Titus
    • 15   Titus
    • 16   Film: Anthony & Cleopatra/ BBC
    • 20   A&C
    • 22   A&C
    • 23   Film: (Dalton/ Regrave)
    • 27    A&C
    • 29    A &C
    • 30    Good Friday (No Lab)
  • April
    • 3    The Winter’s Tale
    • 5    The Winter’s Tale
    • 6    Film: BBC
    • 10   The Winter’s Tale
    • 12   The Winter’s Tale
    • 13   Film: Heritage Theatre
    • 17   Review 

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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