Dec 05, 2023  
2013-2014 Academic Catalog 
2013-2014 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

THE 303-01 - Renaissance in Hamlet (Fall)

4 credits (Fall)
Seminar on Shakespeare’s heroic revenge tragedy Hamlet, in its Renaissance, Reformation and Elizabethan contexts. The most popular dramatic form of the periods of Elizabeth and James I, revenge tragedy reflects an age of scepticism and lost direction, expressive of the intellectual ferment and spiritual upheaval brought on by the dissolution of the medieval belief in an ordered cosmos, by the rise of urban economies, by the articulation of pragmatic approaches to the problems of political rule, by religious and political conflict in the English Renaissance, and by the emergence of competing ideas on the nature of the cosmos, the natural world and especially the character of humanity, its potential and its limitations. In Hamlet Shakespeare takes up again his great theme, the killing of a king, deliberated as the duty, the burden and the temptation of a prince bound to avenge. Complementary course resources will include selections from Renaissance ethical and political philosophy, including Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier, Machiavelli’s Prince, and Montaigne, and sources such as Thomas Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy and the Frenchman Belleforest’s retelling of the old tale (Hystorie of Hamblet). Our close reading of Hamlet will complement the Theatre Department’s November production of the play. Seminar members are invited (not required) to participate in the production as actors, dramaturgs, rehearsal assistants (scene study and scansion), management or crew.

Prerequisite: HUM 102 , HUM 140  or 200-level coursework in Art, Classics, English, foreign languages, History, Philosophy, Poli-Sci, Religious Studies or Theatre.
Instructor: Mease