Shakespeare’s Comedies - Dr. Thomas Apple
(Shakespeare’s Comedies (Spring 2018))

Shakespeare’s Comedies - Dr. Thomas Apple


Spring 2018 M/Th 9-10:20 am


In this course we will read a group of plays that offer us a glimpse into Shakespeare’s genius for demonstrating the nature of human error, forgiveness, passion and desire. We’ll study theories of comedy and ponder comedy’s hilarity, brutality and deeply tragic nature. We may laugh, but the pause we take when a lover renounces love and questions a beloved’s fidelity may be as profound as the grief evoked by Othello. We will read Shakespeare through the lens of Ovid in order to consider the connection between comedy and change, laughter and transformation. Through our readings of the great comic characters we will discover Shakespeare’s ever- delightful wit, his serious and subversive interpretations of political and cultural alterity and his keen sympathy, scathing scrutiny and generosity toward the puzzle of the human condition. Possible texts include: Twelfth Night; All’s Well That Ends Well; Much Ado About Nothing; Love’s Labour’s Lost.