MWF, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
So Much Drama! 18th-Century Theatre
After the silence of the Puritan Commonwealth, London’s theatres burst into social, artistic and ideological prominence in the long eighteenth century. Through heroic drama, tragedy, burlesque, laughing comedy, weeping comedy, plays contributed to cultural dialogues on the relative identities of the nation and the individual through such conflicting elements as noble heroics, razor wit, political subversion, historical revisionism, and some rather explicit sex. Our approach will allow us to consider the ways in which English playwrights both echoed and reinscribed ideas of intellectualism and passion, heroic masculinity and femininity, sexuality and marriage, and violence and its burlesques, as well as the ways in which the dramatic genres of the era embraced both spectatorship and readership and made the political into the (very) personal. We will read one play every two weeks or so; they are brilliant and you will love them. If you want to get a head start, read William Wycherley’s smutty comedy The Country Wife or All for Love, or John Dryden’s powerful, tragic revision of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra.
As the Faculty of Arts has determined that all BA courses will be offered online in Fall 2020, this course will go ahead using a combination of asynchronous (recorded/online) materials and assignments + synchronous (real-time) classes in our designated timeslot.