|ENGL4340||JACOBSON, MIRIAM||MWF||11:15 AM||0250|
Poisoned skulls, Incestuous marriages, wax corpses, cross-dressed lesbian lovers, Turkish pirates, topsy-turvy universes: the world of Renaissance Drama does not belong to Shakespeare alone. In many cases, plays by his contemporaries and successors Ben Jonson, John Lyly, Thomas Middleton, John Webster and John Ford had crazier plots, more biting satire, and certainly reached more heights of dramatic violence, humor, ridiculousness and all-out chaos on stage. In this course we will read eight plays from a collection of playwrights, supplementing our reading with some history of Renaissance stagecraft and materials of performance, filmed performances of plays, and our own interpretations. We’ll spend the most time on Revenge Tragedy, but also explore the genres of City Comedy, Court Comedy, Masque, and Pirate or Adventure Plays. Throughout, we’ll examine the big questions these plays raise about the social order, gender, religion, race, and the power of performance.