MWF, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
“Witty Women, Marriage and the Shakespearean Romantic Comedy”
This course will look at six of Shakespeare’s comedies, from the early battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew, to the late “problem” comedy, All’s Well that Ends Well. Shakespeare’s comedies are about strong, independent, and witty female characters and the difficulties they face when trying to assert themselves in a patriarchal society. How independent can a woman be before she meets resistance and compromises her femininity? How best to negotiate her way through the self-created and social barriers to happiness? What resources does she have at her disposal? We’ll also address the conservative foundations of the Shakespearean romantic comedy and especially its treatment of marriage as the imaginary solution to real social problems.
Please read The Taming of the Shrew for the first class.
Required Texts (all from Oxford UP)
Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing
Shakespeare, As You Like It
Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Shakespeare, All’s Well that Ends Well