Upon a successful completion of the course, students will have acquired:
-an understanding of the social, political, and theatrical conditions in which the Shakespearean plays were produced,
-an understanding of the Renaissance & τηε early modern age,
-an ability to read the Shakespearean texts in their original language and to interpret them critically
-an ability to think comparatively, that is, to relate the plays to the period of the Renaissance and to our times,
-an ability to associate Shakespeare's plays with their representation on the theatrical stage then and now.
Course Content (Syllabus)
This course studies a number of Shakespeare plays in relation to the genre they belong to, the theatrical conventions they employ, and the themes they deal with. The texts of the Shakespearean plays are analyzed not as static entities but in a dialogue with the era that produced them and with ours that consumes them. Thus close textual analyses will be supplemented by extensive references to significant theatrical productions and cinematic interpretations.
Plays to be analyzed:
Required secondary reading (ON RESERVE IN THE LIBRARY)
The Norton Shakespeare, “General Introduction”, esp. “Shakespeare’s Life and Art.”
Τίνα Κροντήρη, Ο Σαίξπηρ, η Αναγέννηση κι εμείς (κεφ. 4-10).
Russ MacDonald, The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, ch. 1-2. 5-6, 8-9.
Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, English theatre, Shakespearean theatre
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 posting of student presentations (sharing with their fellow students what they presented in class).
Student performance is evaluated on the basis of written exams and oral presentations, which include: in-class oral presentations on some aspect of the course, and 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 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
Belsey, Catherine. The subject of tragedy: identity and difference in Renaissance drama. London: Methuen, 1985.(PR658.S42B45)
Carroll, William C., ed. Macbeth: texts and contexts. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1999. PR2823.A2C37
Crystal, David. ‘Think on my Words’: Exploring Shakespeare’s Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.(PR 3072. C79)
Dollimore, Jonathan & Alan Sinfield. Political Shakespeare. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989. (PR2976.P644)
Drakakis, John and Dale Townshend, eds. Macbeth: a critical reader. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. (PR2895.D73)
Greenblatt, Stephen. Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture. New York : Routledge, 1990.PR413.G74
Jackson, Russell. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. PR3093.C36
Κrontiris, Tina. Women and/in the Renaissance. Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, 2000. (available online)
McDonald, Russ. The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare. Boston: Bedford, 2001. (PR2894.M385)
Neill, Michael and David Schalkwyk, eds. The Oxford handbook of Shakespearean tragedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. (Oxford Handbooks Online)
Smith, Emma. The Cambridge Ιntroduction to Shakespeare. Cambridge University Press, 2007. (electronic book)
Tennenhouse, Leonard. Power on Display: The Politics of Shakespeare’s Genres. New York: Methuen, 1986. (PR3017.T45 1986)
Wells, Robin Headlam. Shakespeare's politics: a contextual introduction. London: Continuum, 2009. (PR3017.W447)