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Introduction to Shakespeare (ENGL 107)
The summer of 2017 saw William Shakespeare at the center of public controversy with Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Julius Caesar, in which the actor playing the Roman leader – who is assassinated in the middle of the story — was dressed to resemble President Donald Trump. Subtitled “Shakespearean Controversies,” this course investigates how Shakespeare confronts issues that persist and re-emerge in our own world today. The shipwrecked Viola in Twelfth Night, for instance, finds herself a refugee in a dangerous, foreign land where identities of gender, class, and sexuality are anything but certain. Internet surveillance and parental stalking provide contexts for understanding Hamlet’s network of spies, and both the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements offer contexts for approaching Othello. Leading us through these issues will be Shakespeare’s plays: written texts, videos of stage reproductions, Hollywood remakes, and a (possible) class trip to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 2019 production of Hamlet. For many of us, the opportunity to see the plays we are reading can help make Shakespeare’s works “come alive.” In our conversations this spring, we’ll see that they already were.
Instructor: Jeffrey Gore (email@example.com)
MWF 8-8:50 AM (25569 / 25568)
General Education Categories: Understanding the Past & Understanding Creative Arts