SemesterSpring Semester, 2021
DepartmentMA Program of English, First Year Ph.D. Program in English Literature, First Year MA Program of English, Second Year Ph.D. Program in English Literature, Second Year
Course NameShakespeare and Shakespeare Criticism
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Six to ten hours per week will probably be sufficient for most students.

Week 1: Introduction to course. Shakespeare's career and biography. Reading: Meres, Jonson, Dryden, Johnson, Miola

Week 2: Introduction to Shakespeare criticism. Reading: Midsummer Night's Dream

Week 3: Midsummer Night's Dream. Reading: Stern, Hawkes, Nuttall (1)

Week 4: Criticism on Midsummer Night's Dream. Reading: Twelfth Night.

Week 5: Twelfth Night. Reading: Hazlitt, Howard, Vickers (1)

Week 6: Criticism on Twelfth Night. Reading: Romeo and Juliet

Week 7: Romeo and Juliet. Reading: Nuttall (2), Parker

Week 8: Criticism on Romeo and Juliet. Reading: Othello

Week 9: Othello. Reading: Knight, Bradley, Cavell

Week 10: Criticism on Othello. Reading: Hamlet

Week 11: Hamlet. Reading: Eliot, Knights, Jones

Week 12: Criticism on Hamlet. Reading: Henry IV, Part One

Week 13: Henry IV, Part One. Reading: Tillyard, Greenblatt (1), Vickers (2)

Week 14: Criticism on Henry IV, Part One. Reading: Henry V

Week 15: Henry V. Reading: Tillyard, The Winter's Tale

Week 16: The Winter's Tale. Reading: Van Doren, Felperin

Week 17: Criticism on The Winter's Tale. Reading: The Tempest, Greenblatt (2)

Week 18: The Tempest.



Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant



Short written responses to each week's reading, and one term paper (7-10 pages) will be assigned. Quizzes about specific readings may also be given, depending on student performance.

Textbook & Reference


Shakespeare's works:

Arden, Oxford, or New Cambridge editions of sonnets and individual plays, or

Arden, Norton, or RSC Complete Works

critical articles and book chapters: 

Meres, Jonson, Dryden, Johnson, Miola: Meres, Francis. Palladis Tamia (selections); Jonson, Ben. Timber, of Discoveries (selections); Dryden, John. Essay of Dramatic Poesy. (Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 1.) Johnson, Samuel. Preface to Shakespeare. (Norton)

Stern, Hawkes, Nuttall (1) Stern, Tiffany. Making Shakespeare: From Page to Stage. Routledge, 2004. 1-33, 137-161; Hawkes, Terence. `Or' in Meaning by Shakespeare. 11-41; Nuttall, A.D. Shakespeare the Thinker. 119-132

Hazlitt, Howard, Vickers (1): Howard, Jean E., ‘Crossdressing, The Theatre, and Gender Struggle in Early Modern England’, Shakespeare Quarterly 39 (1988) 418–40; Vickers, Brian, Appropriating Shakespeare: Contemporary Critical Quarrels (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993)

Nuttall (2), Parker: Nuttall, 99-119. Parker, Barbara. A Precious Seeing: Love and Reason in Shakespeare's Plays. New York University Press, 1987. 

Knight, Bradley, Cavell: Knight, G. Wilson. `The Othello Music' in The Wheel of Fire: Interpretations of Shakesperian Tragedy. Routledge, 1961. 97-119; Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. Macmillan, 1992; Cavell, Stanley, ‘Othello and the Stake of the Other’, in Disowning Knowledge in Six Plays of Shakespeare.

Cambridge University Press, 1987, or in Disowning Knowledge in Seven Plays of Shakespeare. Cambridge University Press, 2003. 125–142

Eliot, Knights, Jones: Eliot, T.S. `Hamlet and His Problems' in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. Knights, L.C. `An Approach to Hamlet' in Some Shakespearean Themes and An Approach to Hamlet. Stanford University Press, 1959. 153-233 

Tillyard, Greenblatt (1), Vickers (2): Tillyard, E.M. W. Shakespeare's History Plays. Penguin, 1969. 136-220; Greenblatt, Stephen ‘Invisible Bullets: Renaissance Authority and Its Subversion, Henry IV and Henry V ’, in Shakespearean Negotiations. University of California Press, 1988. 21–65, or in Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism, ed. by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield. Manchester University Press, 1985. 18-47; Vickers, 

Van Doren, Felperin: Van Doren, Mark. Shakespeare. Doubleday, 1953. 271-280 ; Felperin, Howard, ‘ “Tongue-tied, our Queen?” The Deconstruction of Presence in The Winter’s Tale’ in The Uses of the Canon: Elizabethan Literature and Contemporary Theory. Oxford University Press, 1990. 35–55

Greenblatt (2): Greenblatt, Stephen, ‘Learning to Curse: Aspects of Linguistic Colonialism in the Sixteenth Century’, in

Learning to Curse: Essays in Modern Culture (New York and London: Routledge, 1990) 16–39

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