The most characteristic feature of this course is the frequent change/renewal of its thematic focus and its primary sources. The course deals with well known Elizabethan & Jacobean dramatists, like Marlowe, Webster, and Middleton. It usually excludes Shakespeare because there is a separate course on the national poet of England, but if the topic calls for it, some Shakespearean play may be included in the syllabus. The specific course attracts few but intelligent and dedicated students who are interested in the literature and drama of earlier periods. It also attracts a high number of Erasmus students. The relatively low enrollment (about 35 students) permits the organization of the course along seminar lines, including class presentations by students.
Upon a successful comletion of the course, students will have acquired:
- an ability of students to read critically in the original theatrical texts that demand and enrich one's linguistic skills.
-a basic familiarity with the theatrical conventions of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage.
- the basic tools for the consideration of theoretical work in the interpretation of the texts.
-an ability to focus on a selected theme and to think comparatively between different texts.
-an ability to think comparatively between the early modern period and our modern period.
-an ability to address an informed young audience.
Course Content (Syllabus)
This course explores the love relationship within marriage and the problems (or tragic consequences) brought about by the jealousy of one of the spouses. The central questions to be addressed are: What are the causes of jealousy as presented in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and why is it more prominent in men than in women? To the extent that jealousy is related to fear, what is the nature and source of that fear? Why is male jealousy potentially fatal for women? What methods/strategies of defense are available to women when the latter are charged with adultery in a patriarchal society? These questions will be discussed in relation to the social context and theatrical practices of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Comparisons between early modern and late modern treatments of the key issues will be frequently drawn.
Plays to be studied in the course:
 Shakespeare’s "Othello" (entire play)
 Shakespeare's "The Winter’s Tale" (acts 1-3)
 Elizabeth Cary’s "Mariam" (entire play)
 Middleton and Rowley’s "The Changling" (only the subplot concerning the doctor and his wife).
Required bibliography (to be studied along with the plays):
-Tofte, Robert. The Blazon of Jealousie (1615). Available through EEBO.
-Moi, Toril. “Jealousy and Sexual Difference.” Feminist Review, vol. 11: 53-68.
-Lloyd, Rosemary. Closer and Closer Apart. Cornell U Press, 1995
-Wurmser, Leon. “Pathological jealousy –– the perversion of love”
-Adams, Sabrina. Jealousy in Romantic Relationships, Self-Esteem, and Ego Defenses. PhD, Victoria Uni. 2012.
-Cohen, Derek. “Patriarchy and Jealousy in Othello and The Winter’s Tale.”MLQ, September 1987 48(3): 207-223.
Drama, Theatre, Eizabethan, Jacobean, Renaissance, Jealousy, Love, Marriage
The form of information technology that the teacher of this course uses is the e-learning (Moodle) in conjunction with the internet. E-learning is used routinely for the following course activities:
-announcements of all sorts that concern the class (these are sent automatically to each registered student via the e-class's mailing system)
-the creation of an electronic library which includes documents relevant to the course (electronic books and articles, notes, links to useful sites, definitions of new terms, electronic primary sources not easily accessible to students, and several other aids that the teacher feels may be of use to the students.
-the assignment of take-home quizzes or written papers: the teacher uploads the quiz or other assignment and the students, after completing it, upload their answers within a certain deadline.
-the posting of student presentations (sharing with their fellow students what they presented in class).
Student performance is evaluated on the basis of written exams, papers, and oral presentations, which include:
-brief, take-home assignment(s) on specifice questions,
-in-class oral presentations on some aspect of the course,
-a comprehensive, essay-type exam on complex questions at the end of the semester.
Also, students are given the opportunity to write (optionally) a research paper on an approved topic. However, in no case can the research paper option become a substitute for the final exam, which the student must pass if the research paper is to be counted in the final grade. It is noted that the take-home assignments and participation of students in class discussions play an advisory role (i.e., they help the instructor to form an opinion about the student’s abilities), whereas the class presentations, the final exam, and the research paper (if written) play a definitive as well as advisory role in the student’s final grade.
The criteria of evaluation include the following:
-Correct (idiomatic) use of the English language
-Organization of thought
-Understanding of the basic ideas explored in the course
-Critical thought and synthetic ability
-Maturity and sophistication of thought
-Comprehensive coverage of the course material
-Effectiveness of communication with an audience (esp. on oral presentation)
The above criteria and means of assessment are explained to students at the beginning of the semester and are also posted on the course's e-learning site.
Additional bibliography for study
-Jardine, Lisa. “‘Why should he call her whore?: Defamation and Desdemona’s Case’” in Reading Shakespeare Historically. Routledge, 1996. ON RESERVE AUTH-ENL/
-Krontiris, Tina. “Tragic Hero and Tragic Victim: the Othello-Desdemona Relationship in Shakespeare’s Othello” in Logomachia, ed. E. Douka-Kabitoglou, Thessaloniki 1994, pp. 199-210. ON RESERVE, AUTH-ENL/.
-Krontiris, Tina. Oppositional Voices: Women as Writers and Translators in The English Renaissance. Routledge, 1992. See ch. 3: “Noblewomen Dramatizing the Husband-Wife Conflict” [incl. the conflict in Mariam].
ON RESERVE, AUTH-ENL, and Google Books
-Ferguson, Margaret and Barry Weller (eds.), The Tragedy of Mariam, the Fair Queen of Jewry. Univ of California Press, 1994. See “Introduction,” esp. the section on “Mariam and Shakespeare.” (Google Books)
-Purkiss, Dianne, ed. Renaissance Women: the Plays of Elizabeth Cary, the Poems of Aemilia Lanyer. ON RESERVE, AUTH-ENL.
-Wells, Stanely. Shakespeare, Sex and Love. Oxford U Press, 2010. (Esp. ch 1: “Sexuality in Shakespeare’s Time,” and ch 7: “Sexual Jealousy.”) ON RESERVE, AUTH-ENL.
-‘Thomas Middleton’ in New World Encyclopedia (on line) http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Thomas_Middleton
-Daalder, Joost. “Folly and Madness in The Changeling.” Essays in Criticism 38/1 (1988): 1-21. (e-learning)
-Daadler, Joost. The Role of Isabella in The Changeling.” English Studies', vol.73, no.1, 22-29. (e-learning)
-O’Callaghan, Michelle. Thomas Middleton, Renaissance Dramatist. Edinburgh Univ Press, 2009. [Ch. 7: “Partners in Tragedy: The Changeling.” (e-learning) ]
-Rose, Mary Beth. The Expense of Spirit: Love and Sexuality in Renaissance Drama. Cornell Univ Press, 1988. (See ch 1: “Moral Conceptions of Sexual Love in Elizabethan Comedy” and ch 3: “The Heroics of Marriage in English Renaissance Tragedy,” incl. Othello). ON RESERVE, AUTH-ENL/.