ENGL305 - Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: An Introduction

Readings in Shakespeare and contemporaries such as Marlowe, Dekker, Middleton, Jonson, Webster, Chapman, Marston. Elizabethan and Jacobean theatrical and social contexts.

The flourishing theatrical culture of Elizabethan and Jacobean England involved many playwrights. Shakespeare borrowed from Thomas Kyd, revered Christopher Marlowe, competed with Ben Jonson, and collaborated with Thomas Middleton. This course places Shakespeare alongside the other dramatists of his era, exploring connections between early modern plays and contextualizing them in their historical moment. We will read only one or two plays by Shakespeare, placing more emphasis on playwrights including Kyd, Marlowe, Marston, Jonson, and Middleton. Students will be asked to draw connections between early modern drama and contemporary culture. Requirements will include weekly contributions to a course blog, two writing assignments, and a final exam.