Shakespeare – Introductory course Dr. Noam Reisner
שייקספיר - קורס מבוא
This course offers a general introduction to the rewarding world of Shakespeare. We will study six representative plays and a selection of sonnets which best capture in an overview the poetic brilliance, intellectual complexity, theatrical inventiveness, and above all the moving humanity at the heart of the 38 plays and the many poems left to posterity under the historically and biographically elusive name of William Shakespeare. Throughout, we will address issues of rhetoric and poetry, themes and conceptual motifs, genre and staging, and the emerging patterns of thought and ideas which have made so many of the plays and sonnets perennially relevant ‘in states unborn and accents yet unknown’.
Primary texts: The course will focus on the close textual reading and analysis of a selection of sonnets and six plays representing different stages in Shakespeare’s dramatic development: Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Othello, and The Tempest. * It is advisable to get hold of copies of the plays in advance of the course (buying online through websites like bookdespository.com is the cheapest and quickest option). The recommended edition is the Shakespeare Arden series. However, cheaper editions (which are less heavily annotated) are also available either through Penguin, the Shakespeare Folger Library, or similar publications. In any case, it is compulsory to read the plays before they are discussed in class and always to have a text in class for reference.
Requirements: Attendance in the course is compulsory.
There will be a midterm (worth 30%) and a final exam (worth 70%).