OLLI Spring 2024 Syllabus

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Course Title: Shakespeare’s Romance Plays: a Selection

Time: Spring 2024. Wed. 9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Location: 4350 S. Maryland Pkwy. Maryland Admin. Bldg. (MAB) 2.
Instructor: Alfred J. Drake, Ph.D.
Email: ajdrake@ajdrake.com
Instructor’s Shakespeare Web: www.limbsofalarbus.com

Instructor’s Materials Specific to This Class

Pericles Questions | Pericles Commentary
Winter’s Tale Questions| Winter’s Tale Commentary
Tempest Questions | Tempest Commentary
Intro – Life & Times | Intro – Lang. & Art, Pt. 1
Intro – Lang & Art, Pt. 2 (Blank Verse)

Recommended Texts

Greenblatt, Stephen et al., eds. The Norton Shakespeare: Romances and Poems. Third edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0393938623. Or, you may prefer to buy the full set: Greenblatt, Stephen et al., eds. The Norton Shakespeare. 4-vol. bundle. Third edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2015. 978-0393265460. (Includes all of Shakespeare’s plays.)

Possible Alternative Choices: The Arden Shakespeare and Folger Shakespeare Library paperback editions of Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest are relatively inexpensive and offer good notes. The Folger Shakespeare Library offers e-texts at the following addresses (these contain no notes, but the texts are excellent):

Folger Shakespeare Online Text of Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Folger Shakespeare Online Text of The Winter’s Tale
Folger Shakespeare Online Text of The Tempest
Shakespeare’s Words — a Dictionary (David & Ben Crystal)

Course Overview: We will cover several of the brilliant, bittersweet romance plays that Shakespeare created towards the latter part of his career. We will explore the thesis that these plays—strangely suspended as they are between sunny comedy and bleak tragedy and despite their fantastical plots and unlikely settings—may yet hew closer to “real life” than many of Shakespeare’s other dramas.

Schedule (Subject to change)

Week 1     Feb. 14    Intro to Shakespeare and to the romance genre.

Week 2     Feb. 21    Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Intro and Acts 1-2. (Commentary) (Questions)

Week 3     Feb. 28    Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Acts 3-5. (Commentary) (Questions)

Week 4     Mar. 06    The Winter’s Tale. Intro and Act 1. (Commentary) (Questions)

Week –     Mar. 13  Spring Break. No classes from March 11-18.   

Week 5     Mar. 20   The Winter’s Tale. Acts 2-3. (Commentary) (Questions)

Week 6     Mar. 27   The Winter’s Tale. Acts 4-5. (Commentary) (Questions)

Week 7     Apr. 03    The Tempest. Intro and Act 1. (Commentary) (Questions)

Week 8     Apr. 10    The Tempest. Acts 2-3. (Commentary) (Questions)

Week 9     Apr. 17    The Tempest. Acts 4-5. (Commentary) (Questions)

Week 10   Apr. 24    The dark backward and abysm: a retrospective session.