Instructor: Leech                    M/W/F                    10:10am – 11:05am

BoK: FA – Fine Arts; HU – Humanities

This course is an introduction to Shakespeare’s drama. We will read Shakespeare’s work as a way to develop the skills necessary for literary analysis: close reading, clear writing, and logical argumentation. Shakespeare’s texts did not only paint a picture of the complicated Renaissance world; they attempted to change how that world looked. His plays challenged and redefined some of the major ideas of Renaissance English culture. We will study how Shakespeare used the comedy to challenge gender codes in English society, the history play to reveal the long history of geographical, linguistic and class tensions dividing the English nation, and the tragedy to redefine the agency of the individual “subject” in corporate institutions such as the state and the church. Our course will conclude with a meditation on Shakespeare’s problem plays.