Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Happy Opportunity!

I've finally (after at least a decade) get to teach Shakespeare at the upper division level!

Our lower division Shakespeare is a genre-oriented survey type course.  The upper division Shakespeare is a theme-oriented course.

So, now the question is, what theme?

I'm thinking of a couple.  I have a secret goal, too, which is to teach the last of the Shakespeare plays I've never taught before, Timon of Athens.

So, what themes sound fun?


  1. If you want to teach Timon, the obvious themes include friendship, money, misanthropy, but I like the idea of the comic space in tragedies. Timon has some surprisingly funny moments. I didn't get that until I saw it in Chicago a few years ago. There are a lot of funny moments in the tragedies. I think Hamlet's got some laugh riot moments, as does Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and even Titus does if you play it right. If you don't want to do an all-tragedies class, you could do a "range-of-emotions" theme that finds the comic in the tragic and the tragic in the comic. I'm not talking about tragicomedy (romance), necessarily. I mean finding the extreme opposite style (comic, tragic) within the main genre. (I don't know if I'm making any sense... but in my mind this all sounds totally fun.)

  2. Ooh, I've got one! How about a going-into-the-wilderness or retreating-from-the-world theme? LOTS of plays would fit -- AYLI, Cymbeline, Lear, Tempest, maybe LLL, Measure, and / or the Henry VI plays if you end up focusing on the idea of withdrawing from the world in the spiritual sense, or Midsummer if you're focusing on literal wilderness.

  3. Thanks, you two! Fretful, that sounds really fun! I could tie in some ecocriticism and stuffs, too!