Dramatists must write in a way familiar to their audiences if they hope to keep their audiences. But the best dramatists, at the same time, also challenge the preconceptions and assumptions of audiences. They estrange audience members, provoking them to explore and reassess what they thought they already knew. Shakespeare does just that, often through characters who are themselves strangers-foreigners-in their environment or through removing characters from their familiar surroundings and placing them where, feeling alien, they must confront themselves and their beliefs. In this course, we'll study how Shakespeare's incorporation of aliens and alien territories corresponds with and informs his efforts to alienate his audience and, in so doing, encourage them to grow. Titles will include Love's Labor's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Tempest, as well as others.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.
Counts as a dramatic literature requirement in the Theatre major and minor.
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
First-year students require permission of the instructor.