A: Required Texts: The following editions must be used:

(1) Hamlet, Routledge, 1982. ISBN: 0 416 17920 7, No. 3599
(2) Twelfth Night, Routledge, 1975. ISBN: 0 416 17960 6, No. 2497
(3) The Tempest, Routledge, 1966. ISBN: 0 415 02704 7, No. 2491
(4) Othello, Routledge, 1985. ISBN: 0 415 02701 2
(5) King Lear, Routledge, 1985. ISBN: 0 415 02692 X
(6) Jonathan Dollimore, Radical Tragedy, Univ of Chicago Press, 1986.
ISBN: 0 226 15539 0
(7) Jonathan Dollimore & Alan Sinfield, eds. Political Shakespeare, Cornell Univ Press, 1985. ISBN: 0 801 49325 0
(8) John Drakakis, ed. Alternative Shakespeares, Routledge, 1985.
ISBN: 0 415 02528 1, No. 9457

B: Recommended Texts:

(1) Stephen Greenblatt, Shakespearean Negotiations, Univ of Calif Press, 1988.
ISBN: 0 520 06160 8
(2) Gary Taylor, Reinventing Shakespeare, Oxford Univ Press, 1991.
ISBN: 0 195 06679 0
(3) Carolyn Ruth-Swift-Lenz et al, The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare, Univ of Illinois Press, 1980.
ISBN: 0 252 00751 4. 

B. Course Requirements:

(1) one paper [800 words minimum; counts for two units]. The topic of this paper, due on August 12, will be discussed in class;
(2) a journal [two units] in which students are to write regularly. This will be submitted in the penultimate week; each entry should be dated and preferably typed;
(3) a final exam [two units]: Wednesday, August 18, 6-9.30 p.m.
(4) anyone missing a reading or writing assignment, for whatever reason, should see me as soon as possible.
(5) class participation counts for two units.

C: Aims of Course:

This course aims to encourage a close reading of a selection of Shakespeare’s plays (a selection based on requirements for students in the Rutgers’ programme) from perspectives which challenge the underlying assumptions of the liberal-humanist tradition of Shakespearean interpretation. This tradition centres on the analysis of character, based on Christian/Aristotelian/Humanist definitions of human identity and morality. It has also effectively treated Shakespeare’s texts as autonomous and timeless entities, thereby depoliticising them. Our concern will be to attempt to repoliticise Shakespeare by reading the said plays from perspectives which include those of: Marxism, Historicism, Feminism, Deconstruction and Structuralism.

D. Weekly Class Assignments:

Week 1: Mon July 26: King Lear: a “liberal-humanist” discussion of the play’s major preoccupations.
Wed July 28: King Lear; Radical Tragedy, Chs. 1,3,4,5,10,12,16, with especial emphasis on Ch. 12; Political Shakespeare, Ch. 5: “The Patriarchal Bard: Feminist Criticism and Shakespeare…” 
Thurs July 29: Hamlet; Political Shakespeare, Ch. 1: “Introduction: Shakespeare, Cultural Materialism and the New Historicism.”

Week 2: Mon Aug 2: Hamlet; Alternative Shakespeares, Ch. 5: “Sexuality in the Reading of Shakespeare…” and Ch. 7: “Shakespeare in Ideology.”
Wed Aug 4: Othello; Alternative Shakespeares, Ch. 3: “Post-Structuralist Shakespeare: Text and Ideology.”
Thurs Aug 5: Othello; Alternative Shakespeares, Ch. 6: “Reading the Signs: Towards a Semiotics of Shakespearean Drama.”

Week 3: Mon Aug 9: Twelfth Night; Alternative Shakespeares, Ch. 4: “Deconstructing Shakespeare’s Comedies.”
Wed Aug 11: Twelfth Night; Alternative Shakespeares, Ch. 8: “Disrupting Sexual Difference: Meaning and Gender in the Comedies.”
Thurs Aug 12: The Tempest; Political Shakespeare, Ch. 3: “…The Tempest and the Discourse of Colonialism.”

Week 4: Mon Aug 16: The Tempest; Alternative Shakespeares, Ch. 9: “Nymphs and Reapers Heavily Vanish: the Discursive Con-texts of The Tempest.”
Wed Aug 18: Final Examination.