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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 61.04 Madness, Magic, Metamorphosis: Unstable Character in Early Modern Drama

"Fair is foul and foul is fair," chant the witches of Shakespeare's MacBeth. Following their ominous words, this course explores how physical and psychic transformations reflect the uneasy coexistence of religion, myth, science, and the supernatural in Shakespeare's England. We begin with a slow reading of King Lear, in which a monarch's stormy madness destabilizes the natural world. Each week thereafter, we'll explore how playwrights use altered bodies and states of consciousness to reflect competing views of justice, truth, authority, and embodiment. As we test various critical approaches to the idea of literary character, we will weigh how well they account for the figures before us, who are defined by the mystical, the metaliterary, and the unnatural.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Junior Colloquium: Course Group I