ENL 4161: Renaissance Drama
Fall 2017 Course Syllabus

Weekly Schedule of Readings and Exercises


Class Details

Meeting: Tuesdays & Thursdays Room: Williams 114
Time: 11.00 AM-12.15 PM
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Instructor: David L. Gants Office: Williams 316
Telephone: 6I7-379-O987 (Skype) E-mail: dgants(at)fsu.edu
Office Hours: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9.00-10.30 AM or by arrangement

Course Overview

Course Goals. We have long characterized William Shakespeare as the transcendent “genius” of the English Renaissance, and his thirty-odd plays stand among the best that appeared on the nascent public theatre. Yet he did not work in a vacuum. Dozens of playwrights composed hundreds of plays from the erection of the Red Lion playhouse in 1567 to the closing of the theatres in 1642, in the process making the stage the preëminent medium for literary expression. During this seventy-five-year explosion of creativity, actors, playwrights, con-artists, aristocrats, and burghers all had a hand in generating some of the greatest works of prose and poetry in the English language. In this course we will study the best (and worst) plays, interludes, pageants, and entertainments of this period to gain a better appreciation of their experimental range and striking imaginative achievement. We will focus on both depth and breadth, i.e. we will read a wide variety of works as well as examining in detail select plays. An appreciation of the texts will emerge from close readings, in-class discussions, exploration of their historical contexts, and individual study.

Course Requirements.

Primary Texts. This course has one required text:

All other readings will be from on-line sources.

Course Policies.