In this course we will read seven plays. Two comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, contain great comic
characters like Sir Toby Belch, Andrew Aguecheek, and Nick Bottom; dark and
tragic figures like Malvolio; serious themes, much laughter, and a mixture of
poetry and buffoonery guaranteed to enchant all audiences. The third and fourth
comedies, The Taming of the Shrew and
The Merchant of Venice, are darker
comedies with gender conflict and anti-Semitic themes. The two tragedies, Othelloand King Lear, represent Shakespeare’s magnificent presentation of the
human condition in all of its variety. Finally, the romance, Pericles, provides a tragi-comic view of
one man’s journey on the sea of life replete with its multiple ups and
downs.  The course will consist of four
essays of three to five pages, an essay final exam, seven video responses, and
numerous in-class reaction papers. 
Attendance will count.