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First-Year Seminar (101-6-23)


Shakespeare Goes to the Movies


Wendy L Wall

Meeting Info

Allison Residential Comm 1021: Tues, Thurs 11:00AM - 12:20PM

Overview of class

Imagine Macbeth's witches as homicidal nurses in a Soviet bloc battle hospital, Othello as a Black basketball player in a White high school in the American south, or A Midsummer Night's Dream as the story of Victorian marriage in crisis: in films, directors mobilize Shakespeare's plays to speak to timely cultural issues, including race relations, insurrection against the government, non-binary gender roles, teen angst, same-sex desire, gang warfare, and the alienation of technology. In this seminar, we will engage texts and film versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Othello, and Macbeth, including O, She's The Man, Desdemona (by Toni Morrison) and Shakespeare in Love. How, we will ask, do classic plays from 400 years ago offers tools for exploring love, betrayal, ambition, and identity in modern contexts and media? Students will be encouraged to develop skills in writing, argumentation, and creative adaptation.

Class Materials (Required)

Norton Shakespeare 3rd edition, Stephen Greenblatt, editor (ISBN 978-0393249835).

Toni Morrison, Desdemona ISBN-10 : 9781849433891.

Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only