Course Instructor Days Times Room


Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century

The eighteenth century witnessed the beginning of formal Shakespeare scholarship and criticism. Important (and controversial) editions were produced (by Rowe, Warburton, Pope, and Johnson), and critical assessments were established (by Dryden, Johnson, Lennox and others). Shakespeare’s plays were produced on the Restoration and eighteenth-century stages (some rewritten in interesting ways); actors and actresses (David Garrick, Charles Macklin, Sarah Siddons) became famous for their performances of particular Shakespeare roles. The century also witnessed the beginning of Shakespeare tourism in the Jubilee staged in Stratford in 1769.

You will have the opportunity to read and study several Shakespeare plays, but you will also experience the birth of Shakespeare criticism, Shakespeare acting traditions, Shakespeare tourism, and Shakespeare editing. In a way, this class is an introduction to literary scholarship as we still practice it today. Editing, literary history, performance studies, literature and the visual arts, comparative analyses, and close readings will all be facets of the class, and this course will take advantage of the online format in exploring these categories.

Required textbook: Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Fiona Ritchie and Peter Sabor. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012. ISBN: 9781107479890.