ENGL 3000 Shakespeare for Nonmajors
About the Course
English 3000 will introduce students to the work of William Shakespeare as a means for exploring the culture of the early modern period. In particular, through critically engaging with Shakespeare’s work, this course will consider the relationship between early modern humans and their natural environment. By focusing on how humans interact with the non-human elements of their world as evidenced in Shakespeare’s drama we might understand how particular philosophical, theological and scientific trajectories were set in motion that shape our world today.
This is a non-majors course, but each student’s particular academic background and interests will allow for a multi-disciplinary approach to our engagement with the course materials. In this course, we will be reading six of Shakespeare’s plays, including tragedies, comedies, and histories. We will also be reading a sampling of secondary materials, including the writings of early philosophers, theologians, and scientists, as well as the modern critical texts. All secondary materials will be provided in PDF form.
Assignments for the course will include one short paper (2-3 pages), one long paper (9-11 pages), a group presentation, and a final project. Participation in class discussion will be essential. As a hybrid course, there will be also an on-line element that will require students to respond to discussion questions regarding each week’s readings.
I have ordered a textbook of Shakespeare’s essential plays through the CU bookstore, but you may use any copy of Shakespeare’s plays that you may already have or find more inexpensively on-line.
The plays that we will be reading include:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Taming of the Shrew
1 Henry IV