This class gives occasion for students of intermediate proficiency in English to work on Shakespeare by the original and by recent, if not always contemporary, critical reception. From semester to semester, we rotate groups of metaphorically connected plays. In fall 2021, close reading is performed on Richard III, As You Like It, Hamlet and Tempest as bound by the figure of usurper, and covers the second work in entirety and other three in excerpts. A collection of relevant critical studies will be assigned next to these primary texts to create a live context where approach to the Shakespearean canon is informed by continuing literary dialogs.
As long as instances are few in the modern academy where adequate reading of humanist subjects is materialized via a medium other than written analysis, classroom instruction also emphasizes interpretation of the plays’ formalist and historical significance by way of relatively well-crafted composition of readers’ insights.